Top-ranked Stacy Lewis opened with a bogey-free 3-under-par 67 to grab a one-stroke lead over Michelle Wie after one round of the 69th U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C.
Lewis, who has won the North Texas LPGA Shootout and the ShopRite LPGA Classic this season, started on the back nine and recorded birdies on the 14th and 16th holes before adding one more coming home at No. 8.
“I think everything I’m doing is geared toward majors in general,” said Lewis, whose 10 LPGA Tour victories include the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship and the 2013 Women’s British Open. “I think to win majors you have to have control of the ball, you have to putt great and you have to have control of your emotions.
“It was such an easy day. I ran some putts by, got them above the hole. But other than that, I didn’t put myself in too bad of spots. The golf course wasn’t easy by any means. It’s going to play hard the rest of the week. The way it’s set up, if you hit good shots, you get rewarded. Any time you have a tap-in par on this course, you run to the next tee.”
Wie, the Stanford grad who claimed her third LPGA Tour victory earlier this year in the LPGA Lotte Championship at home in Hawaii, had four of her five birdies on the back nine to overcome three bogeys in a round of 68.
So Yeon Ryu of South Korea, who won the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open at the Broadmoor, carded a 69 and was tied for third with Katherine Hull-Kirk of Pepperdine and Australia, and 18-year-old Aussie Minjee Lee.
Paula Creamer of Pleasanton, who captured the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont, posted a 70 and was tied for sixth with seven-time major champion Karrie Webb of Australia.
Candie Kung of Taiwan and USC, Mina Harigae of Monterey and Stephanie Meadow of Northern Ireland also were at even-par, but were on the course late in their rounds when darkness halted play.
Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, the 11-year-old sixth-grader who is the youngest golfer to play in any major, opened with 78.