Mirim Lee takes early lead at US Open
The LPGA headed to San Martin, California for the US Women’s Open this week. Only 37 of the 156 players in the field broke par on the 6784, par 72 layout. Several favorites struggled in the opening round, but a surprise player emerged in Mirim Lee. Number one player in the world Lydia Ko came in at one-over par, tied for 52nd. Brooke Henderson, winner of two events this season including last week at the Cambia Classic, shot a lackluster 76, tied for 105th. Lexi Thompson, one of the US favorites, is in a tie for 67th at two-over par.
At the top of the leader board is Mirim Lee, who after a birdie-bogey start, birdied five out of the last seven holes on the front nine for a five-under part start. After a bogey at ten, she rebounded with back-to-back birdies and cruised home with five pars and two more birdies. Her record typing opening round of 64 put her three shots clear of a trio that includes 38-year old Cristie Kerr. The veteran has struggled this season having missed the cut three times and has only one top-ten finish. Also at five under par are Minjee Lee and Amy Yang.
Anna Nordqvist, Brittany Lang and Kelly Tan are lurking at four shots back. Tan has missed the cut three times this season and has only one career top-ten finish. A trio of players are five shots back and several big names are in the mix at two under par, including Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristina Kim, Hee Young Park, Gerina Piller and Jessica Korda. Another big name, Suzann Pettersen, never got things going in the opening round and is eight shots back at even par.
A couple other big names in danger of missing the cut are Michelle Wie, who bogeyed the first two holes and finished with five bogeys on the day for an opening round of 75. Carlota Ciganda, who has played excellent golf the past few weeks, started with a bogey on the first and had only a single birdie on the day for an opening round of 77.
The field will be looking to close the gap today on Mirim Lee, who has two LPGA wins, both during her rookie season of 2014. Lee is not a sure bet for the rest of the week, having missed four cuts this season, but she could pull away from the field with another stellar round today.