BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY – China’s Feng Shanshan shrugged off the effects of jet lag to fire a six-under-par 66 for the clubhouse lead in the weather-disrupted opening round of the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National on Thursday.
The Olympic bronze medalist took advantage of calm morning conditions with a sizzling opening nine of five-under 31 to lead a pack that included perennial Women’s Open contender Amy Yang and former world Nos. 1 Ryu So-yeon and Lydia Ko.
A heavy thundershower interrupted the afternoon wave for two-plus hours and play was called off due to failing light with 39 players needing to return early on Friday to finish.
Feng, who played an event last week in China and arrived in Bedminster exhausted on Monday after an overnight flight, scored in bursts with two batches of three birdies in a bogey-free round at the course some 50 miles west of Manhattan.
“I had three birdies in the first four holes and then after that I just felt so comfortable about everything,” said Feng, who had never broken 70 in 10 previous Women’s Open appearances.
South Korean Yang, who has finished in the top four in all but one of the last five championships, was one back in second place after a five-under 67.
Ai Miyazato carded an even-par 72, while Harukyo Nomura shot a 71 with four birdies and three bogeys to finish highest among the nine Japanese competitors.
“My shots were good and I made a lot of good calls on my club selection,” said Miyazato, whose best showing in the U.S. Women’s Open is sixth place in 2009 and 2011.
“I get stressed when my long game is good but I miss my short putts, so controlling that balance will be the key,” she added.
Meanwhile, Nomura finds herself among 18 golfers tied for 29th.
“My long shots have improved a lot from last week. But it’s too bad I hit my iron shots too long and that led to bogeys,” said Nomura.
“I made a few mistakes reading the wind, too. But I adjusted well on the back nine, so I hope I can keep this up.”
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