Inbee Park (South Korea) held the lead at the 2013 US Women’s Open for most of the day. The tricky greens resulted in missed putts and elusive birdies for most of the field, but Park never wavered from her game. Ha-Neul Kim (South Korea) also played a steady game, kept her ball in the short grass, and made one less mistake than Park, who bogeyed the par 4 #6 hole. In the end, Park had carded -5 and Kim had carded -6, and Kim was at the top of the board.
While a relative unknown on the LPGA Tour Kim, who is 25, has been steadily establishing a star-level irecord on the Korean LPGA Tour, which she joined in 2007, as well as a fashionista reputation. The next 3 days will give Kim an opportunity to show LPGA fans the game in her bag.
I made a lot of putts and didn’t leave much out there . . .
Park’s game unfolded as expected. The #1 woman golfer in the world took and held the lead through most of the first round. Ending the day at 1 stroke off the lead is hardly a setback for a golfer of Park’s caliber. With a hot putter and unshakable focus, she systematically set up and executed shot after shot.
Anna Nordqvuist (Sweden), IK Kim (South Korea), Lizette Salas (USA), and Caroline Hedwell (Sweden) all carded -4 and are sharing the #3 slot on the laederboard, which looks as much like a United Nations conference as the premier women’s golf tournament.
Maude-Aimee Leblanc (Canada) and Paz Echeverria (Chile) carded -3 for round 1 and 8 players carded -2 for the round, putting them 4 stroke off the lead going in to the 2nd round of the Open.
Stacy Lewis (USA) the #2 ranked player, with 3 birdies and 2 bogeys, carded -1 for the round.
How are amateurs Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Annie Park (USA) faring? With 4 birdies and 4 bogeys, Ko ended the day at even par. Park was a bit further down the board. Her round, which included 2 doubles, 4 bogeys, and 2 birdies, ended with a +7. Park’s drives were strong but she hit only 9 of 18 greens in regulation and piled up a whopping 34 putts, 9 more than Inbee Park’s 25.
Right now there’s a big crowd at the top of the Women’s Open board. Will it get thinned out tomorrow or become even more crowded?