There is a three-way tie atop the leaderboard at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open after 18 holes of play. Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, Australian Sarah Jane Smith, and Jeongeun Lee of Korea each shot 5 under par 67 on the rain-soaked Shoal Creek course today. Two strokes back in a tie for fourth place are 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie and 2017 Women’s PGA champion Danielle Kang, both Americans, along with Swedish amateur Linn Grant.
Course Softened By Rain
Due to all the rain suffered by the area this week, the course played soft and the players were able to hold the fairways with their drives and the greens with their approach shots. The greens were able to retain some of their speed, however, and the scoring did not get out of control. While 24 players were able to shoot under par, only the top six were able to break 70.
Eleven players are tied for seventh place at 2-under par, including number one player in the world Inbee Park, American Nelly Korda and two more amateurs, one of whom is the American Kristin Gillman. Six more players are tied at 1-under par 71, including former number one Lydia Ko, as well as Americans Lexi Thompson and Lindy Duncan. Fifteen year old American amateur Lucy Li got it to 3-under par on the back nine, but closed with three straight bogeys to finish at even par with eighteen other players. Tied with Li at even par are 2014 Women’s British Open champion, American Mo Martin, and 2017 Women’s British Open champion In-Kyeung Kim of Korea. There are a total of ten Americans in the group at even par, four of them amateurs, including Li.
Christie Kerr and Brooke Henderson each shot 73, while Anna Nordqvist, Catriona Matthew, and Lizette Salas all shot 74. Stacy Lewis, Karrie Webb, and Brittany Lincicome all had 75, while Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden, winner of the first major this year, the ANA Inspiration, had a disappointing first round 76. She was joined at that number by defending Women’s Open champion Sung Hyun Park, as well as Moriya Jutanugarn. Jessica Korda, Paula Creamer, and Brittany Lang all shot 77, and Shanshan Feng, the number two player in the world had a 78.