HOUSTON (FIELD LEVEL MEDIA REUTERS) – Four Americans held the top four spots with many golfers more than midway through the opening round of the US Women’s Open on Thursday (Dec 10) at Champions Golf Club in Houston.
Megan Khang used a brilliant opening stretch to hold a 4-under par mark through 12 holes.
Amy Olson, aided by an ace, was at 3 under along with Brittany Lincicome and Gerina Piller – all of them just beginning their final nine holes of the day as mid-afternoon approached.
Yuka Saso of the Philippines joined them at 3 under through seven holes.
Other golfers in the 156-golfer field began their rounds later with expected late-afternoon completions.
Because of concerns about reduced daylight, two Champions Golf Club courses – Cypress Creek and Jackrabbit – are being used for the first two rounds. The final two rounds will be contested only on Cypress Creek. Both layouts are set for par-71.
Kang, playing on the Jackrabbit course, began with birdies on four of the first five holes. She was 5 under through 10 before taking a bogey on the next hole.
Olson, who began on the backside at Cypress Creek, posted a hole-in-one on the 16th hole with a 139-yard shot. The ball bounced a couple of times and rolled into the cup.
Olson kept the momentum from the ace by notching birdies on two of the next three holes.
Lincicome, playing on the Jackrabbit layout, was 3 under through her first seven holes. Piller played the front nine on the Jackrabbit course in 3 under.
The tournament was postponed from June because of the coronavirus pandemic. A US$1 million (S$1.3 million) payday goes to the winner.
The day before the tournament began, Andrea Lee withdrew because of a positive coronavirus test. Ayaka Watanabe of Japan took Lee’s spot in the field.
Spectators aren’t permitted on the course grounds as part of safety protocols.
The four-day event concludes Sunday.