PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Xiyu Janet Lin soaked up the views of Pebble Beach while letting her putter do the work Thursday for a 68-year-old 4-under, giving her first place at the inaugural U.S. Women’s Open which was held in one of the United States. most popular courses.
With only mild wind and a sea layer on the Monterey Peninsula, it was the mild version of Pebble Beach. It’s also a US Open, and it didn’t take much to wreak havoc.
The biggest surprise was Jin Young Ko, the world No. 1 player who only birdied once in her round of 79. She had plenty of company.
Linn started her round on the tough par-4 10th hole, and she saved par on four of her first five holes before netting an 8-foot birdie putt on the 15th. The Chinese player’s only bogey came at the end when she failed to get up and down short of a bunker on the No.9.
“In the beginning, the putt definitely saved me,” said Lin, who made just 25 putts and led the pack in the key putt stat. “Making those short putts really boosted my confidence, making me feel more comfortable attacking when I needed to.”
Irish amateur Aine Donegan didn’t have her clubs until Tuesday – only to find her driver damaged – and had a 69 that included a wedge she dug 96 yards out on the 15th. Nasa Hataoka and Hae Ran Ryu were also at age 69.
Rose Zhang, the 20-year-old Stanford sensation who earned her first start as a pro, was among those who played in the afternoon.
It was among the most anticipated events of the year for women’s golf due to the location. Pebble Beach is the most iconic of the US Open venues and the most recognizable with sea views on half the holes.
Lin said she got the best advice from the person working on her clubs.
“He just said to me, ‘Whatever hole you’re in, just take 30 seconds to look at the view and you’ll be very grateful where you are. I think that’s absolutely fair,” she said. “We are part of the story. It’s really cool. So I think I thought it was going to be a memorable week.
“Yeah, even today, when there were some stressful shots coming, I just think to myself how grateful I am to be hitting a shot on this hole.”
She was very grateful for her short game – the 12-foot stop by the 10th, her ups and downs from the bunkers on the 11th and 13th holes, and her last big short stop from the nasty 14th green, climbing up a steep slope from grass from the fairway at 5 feet and another par from a putt.
Lin also drilled some long putts, 30 feet on the par-5 18 and 18 feet on the No. 4, the short par-4 with Stillwater Cove to the right.
The stars of the LPGA Tour haven’t fared so well. Ko was already losing ground when she fired her tee shot left and over the cliffs onto the beach on the par-3 17th, leading to a double bogey. In the previous 24 rounds of the US Women’s Open, she has never had worse than a 75.
She played alongside Nelly Korda, the world No. 2 player who missed the cut at the Women’s PGA two weeks ago. Korda started her big day at Pebble Beach by sending her opening drive over the cliff and onto the beach at No. 10 for a double bogey. She opened with a 76.
Lexi Thompson, who lost a five-stroke lead at the U.S. Women’s Open at the Olympic Club two years ago, did well posting a 74.
Michelle Wie West and Annika Sorenstam are playing what will likely be their last US Women’s Open, both drawn by the lure of playing at Pebble Beach. Both are likely to leave sooner than they wanted.
Wie West had her husband – Jonnie West, director of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors – as a caddy. She failed to birdie, missed several putts from about 4 feet and took a triple bogey on the 18th hole for a 79.
Sorenstam played alongside him and shot 80, including a triple bogey on the third hole.
Donegan’s greatest excitement had just arrived at Pebble. She contested the Vagliano Trophy in Scotland last week and then had no club to start the US Women’s Open week. She used a backup set of Pings and grew to like the new pilot, wondering if she should switch.
When his clubs arrived on Tuesday and the driver was down, the choice was easy. And after a bogey-bogey start, she made Pebble easy with an eagle and five birdies.
Donegan chose not to stress his club’s situation, and the location helped.
“Look at the view. Look at all the people here watching and supporting women’s golf,” she said. “For such a big tournament to be played in such a big venue, it’s hard not to enjoy It’s important not to take things too seriously here, and luckily I didn’t do that today.
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