PINEHURST, N.C. — Comparisons were inevitable by hosting the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open on the same golf course in consecutive weeks.
Only these had nothing to do with numbers.
Stacy Lewis found comfort in comparisons with U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer. The No. 1 player in women’s golf studied Pinehurst No. 2 on her own a few weeks ago, formulated an idea how to play the golf course and then watched Martin Kaymer follow the script she had in her head and win by eight shots.
Just like Kaymer, she opened Thursday without a bogey on her card, a 3-under-par 67 for a one-shot lead over Michelle Wie.
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“It was cool to see the plan I had laid out in my head. He 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.”
Right behind was Wie, who studied as hard for Pinehurst as she ever did at Stanford. She was at Pinehurst on Sunday to watch the final round, and later picked up the yardage books from a few friends in south Florida — U.S. Open runner-up Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley — and compared notes.
Wie charted her way to four birdies on the back nine for a 68, her lowest opening round in a U.S. Women’s Open.
They were among only five players under par when the first round was halted by thunderstorms with 30 players who did not finish.
Former Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu, Katherine Kirk and 18-year-old amateur Minjee Lee were at 69.
Lucy Li, the 11-year-old from the Bay Area who became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women’s Open history, shot a 78. She missed only one fairway and was rarely out of position, though it cost the sixth-grader dearly when she was. Li had one triple bogey and two doubles.
Karrie Webb and Paula Creamer were at 70. Juli Inkster, at 53 and playing in the Women’s Open for the 35th time, had a 71.
CROMWELL, Conn. — Ryan Moore from Puyallup shot a 7-under-par 63 and was one shot behind leader Brendan Steele after the first round of the Travelers Championship.
Steele shot an 8-under 62, which tied for the lowest round of his career, at TPC River Highlands.
The 31-year-old Californian opened with an eagle, holing a 129-yard wedge shot in the rain. He birdied six of the next 12 holes and closed the bogey-free round with five straight pars.
Bud Cauley also shot a 63, and Chad Campbell, Joe Durant, Scott Langley, Eric Axley and Jeff Maggert followed at 64.
Moore, who has four top-10 finishes in eight starts at this tournament, credited his 63 to a decision not to practice after a poor round in the pro-am Wednesday.
“I was relaxed and comfortable and just went out and played golf today instead of overdoing it and overthinking it, which I feel like I’ve maybe done a little lately,” Moore said. “I’ve been practicing too much.”
Michael Putnam from University Place shot a 67. Former Huskies Richard H. Lee and Alex Prugh had 70s. Kyle Stanley from Gig Harbor shot a 71.
• Mikko Ilonen of Finland carded a course-record 7-under 64 while crowd favorite Rory McIlroy finished 10 shots behind in the first round of the Irish Open in Cork.