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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Highlights from Thursday’s U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club

By Vaseline May31,2024
Highlights from Thursday’s U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club

29-year-old Lexi Thompson, who played her first US Women’s Open at age 12, will tee off on the No. 1 hole at Lancaster Country Club at the 2024 US Women’s Open after announcing earlier this week that it will be her last season would be on tour. (courtesy of BILL SNOOK)

LANCASTER – Low scores were hard to come by when the action got underway Thursday on the first day of the U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club.

2021 champion Yuka Saso, a 22-year-old native of the Philippines, had the lowest score of the day at 2-under 68 after five birdies and three bogeys.

Yuka Saso plays a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2024 US Women's Open presented by Ally at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Yuka Saso plays a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2024 US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)

“It always feels good to be back and see familiar faces,” Saso told the USGA after her round. ‘But it’s a US Open. It’s a major. It’s the biggest major championship and I think it’s one of the toughest weeks we’ll play in a year.”

Saso shot a 1-under 34 on the front nine and went out with two bogeys. She birdied the 380-yard, par-4 second, the 353-yard, par-4 fourth and the 513-yard, par-5 seventh on the front nine.

On the back, Saso rolled down the stretch and birdied the 421-yard par-4 15th and the 340-yard, par 4 16th before ending the day with a bogey at the 434-yard, par 4 18th.

Saso had 4 meters left for par on the 18th after chipping in with her third shot from the fringe, but her attempt curled just to the right of the hole, 30 centimeters away.

“I made some really good putts,” Saso said. “I think I was more lucky than playing well. I think I had some really long par putts in the first few holes as well. I think I was just really lucky, and I was able to have fun there with Hannah and Brooke.

Only three other golfers finished with scores under par. Andrea Lee, Wichanee Meechai and Adela Cernousek, an amaetur, all finished 1-under 69.

Ten golfers are tied for fifth at an even par 70, including 2022 champion Minjee Lee of Australia.

Lee had five birdies on the day, shooting a 1-under 34 with three birdies and two bogeys on the front nine going out. She shot a 1-over 36 with three bogeys and two birdies on the back nine coming in.

Minjee Lee waves to the crowd after making par on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2024 US Women's Open presented by Ally at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Minjee Lee waves to the crowd after making par on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2024 US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)

“I think I still gave myself great opportunities for birdie,” Lee said. “The birdies I had were, a few were short, about four feet, and some were maybe 40 to 50 feet.

“I still looked good when I had birdies, so I was a little back and forth with my bogeys and my birdies.”

Nelly Korda, the top-ranked golfer on the LPGA tour and heavy favorite heading into the tournament, had a round to forget as the 25-year-old shot a 10-under, 80.

Nelly Korda reacts after playing her sixth shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2024 US Women's Open presented by Ally at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Nelly Korda reacts after playing her sixth shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2024 US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)

Korda had an unlucky spell on the 161-yard, par-3 12th, finishing the hole with a 10 after hitting three times into the creek that separates the fairway from the green.

Her first shot found the sand behind the green, before her approach bounced and quickly rolled off the green and into the creek.

Her fourth shot from the box found the creek again, as Korda tried to chip back to the green from the far side fairway. She repeated the shot on the next attempt before going over the green on her eighth attempt.

“Not a lot of positive thoughts, to be honest,” Korda said. “To be honest, I just didn’t play well today. I didn’t get it right. I was often in trouble. Getting a 10 on a par-3 won’t do you any good at a US Open.

“I tied it a little behind the tee box, a club length back. I hit a 6 iron and it just pierced the wind and landed in the back bunker.

“I had a kind of blade under my ball, so when I hit it, it went through. Couldn’t really do anything about that. Yeah, just hitting some really bad chips over and over again.”

Korda finished with an even par 35 on the front nine coming in.

The 2023 champion, Allisen Corpuz, finished with a 5-over 75, good enough to rank 70th. Corpuz shot a 1-over 36 on the front nine and went out with two birdies and three bogeys.

Allisen Corpuz at the US Women's Open Media Day 2024. (Courtesy of BILL SNOOK)
Allisen Corpuz at the US Women’s Open Media Day 2024. (Courtesy of BILL SNOOK)

The tantalizing 12th hole also proved tricky for Corpuz as the 26-year-old triple bogeyed the hole before bogeying the 16th.

“I made some really good putts there,” Corpuz said. “Hit the ball pretty solid all day long. I just messed up a bit on 12 and made a mess. Overall I felt like I played pretty solid.

“I felt like I was just between clubs (6-iron and 7-iron) off the tee and that obviously I couldn’t miss a short shot, so I took the longer one and bounced around the green a bit.

“I got caught up in the rough environment and tried to break it off. I just didn’t think I could get a putter on it. Unfortunately, from there he fell into the water and the up and down was not successful.”

29-year-old Lexi Thompson, an 11-time winner on the LPGA Tour who announced Tuesday that this season would be her final on tour, played in the afternoon’s big group and finished the day with an 8-over 78. played her first US Women’s Open when she was 12 in 2007, becoming the youngest ever to qualify at the time.

Lexi Thompson at the 2024 US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club. (courtesy of BILL SNOOK)

Thompson’s playing partner, Rose Zhang, who won the 2022 and 2023 NCAA Division I championships, finished the day with a 9-over 79.

Rose Zhang tees off at No. 1 at LAcaster Country Club Thursday during the U.S. Women's Open.  (courtesy of BILL SNOOK)
Rose Zhang teed off at No. 1 Thursday at Lancaster Country Club during the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open. (Courtesy of BILL SNOOK)

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