Friday, June 22, 2018

Stacy Lewis leads U.S. Women's Open


Stacy Lewis 67 -3

Michelle Wie 68 -2

Minjee Lee (a) 69 -1

So Yeon Ryu 69 -1

Katherine Kirk 69 -1


Paula Creamer 70 E

Lexi Thompson 71 +1

Inbee Park 76 +6

Lucy Li 78 +8


• Play was suspended with 30 golfers on the course, including Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (5 over through 17).

TV today: 3 p.m., ESPN2

Weather: Morning, clouds and sun, high 87, 25 percent chance of rain; afternoon, showers or thunderstorms, high 90, 63 percent chance of rain

PINEHURST, N.C. — Comparisons were inevitable with the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open on the same golf course in consecutive weeks.

Only this one had nothing to do with numbers.

Stacy Lewis found comfort in comparisons with U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer. The No. 1 women's player studied Pinehurst No. 2 a few weeks ago, formulated an idea how to play the course, then watched Kaymer follow the script she had in her head and win by eight shots Sunday after leading wire to wire.

Just like Kaymer, Lewis opened Thursday without a bogey on her card, shooting 3-under 67 for a one-shot lead over Michelle Wie.

"It was cool to see the plan I had laid out in my head. (Kaymer) was kind of doing the same thing," Lewis said. "So it was nice coming into the week knowing that my plan was going to work on this golf course.

"If you're hitting the ball well enough, you can definitely run away with it. At the same time, you have to know par is a good number and keep grinding away."

Wie did studying, too. She was at Pinehurst on Sunday to watch the final men's round and later picked up the yardage books from a few friends in South Florida — U.S. Open runnerup Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley — and compared notes.

Wie charted her way to four birdies on the back nine.

"I did a lot of homework," she said. "Just took the notes from both of the (yardage) books. It really helped just because they played last week in similar conditions. And they're obviously great players. I definitely learned a thing or two."

Lewis and Wie were among only five players under par when the first round was halted by thunderstorms and play was later halted around 8 p.m. with 30 players on the course, including Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, who was 5 over with, she said on Twitter, one putt left in her round.

Lucy Li, the 11-year-old from the San Francisco Bay area who became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history, shot 78. She missed only one fairway and was rarely out of position, though it cost the sixth-grader dearly when she was. Li made one triple bogey and two double bogeys.

"I mean, it's 8 over," Li said. "It's not bad. But I was 7 over in three holes, so that's 1 over in 15 holes. So yeah, I just need to get rid of the big numbers."

Pinehurst No. 2 played 1,064 yards shorter than it did for the opening round of the U.S. Open. That didn't make it easier. Except for Lewis.

"It was such an easy day," Lewis said, referring to her game more than the course. "I played really, really solid, other than I had to make a few par putts. But other than that, I didn't put myself in too bad of spots and made a few birdies."

Former Women's Open champion So Yeon Ryu, Katherine Kirk and 18-year-old amateur Minjee Lee were at 69. At least 17 players failed to break 80, including Laura Davies. The 50-year-old had 82, her worst score in a Women's Open since Cherry Hills in 2005. Defending champion Inbee Park shot 76.

"I think we put on a great show," Wie said. "There are a couple of red numbers out there. There are a lot of people hovering around even par. But I think it's great. I love that we are playing on the same stage as the men. … It makes it very exciting."

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