Jutanugarn among three atop U.S. Women's Open

6/1/2018 4:31:09 AM EST

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 5-under par 67 on Thursday to grab a share of the lead with Australia's Sarah Jane Smith and South Korea's Jeongeun6 Lee after the first round at the U.S. Women's Open in Shoal Creek, Ala.

Danielle Kang and Michelle Wie are part of a three-way tie for fourth two shots back at 3 under, along with Swedish amateur Linn Grant. World No. 1 Inbee Park carded five birdies to help offset a trio of bogeys en route to a 2-under 70, where she is tied with 11 others for seventh.

Other notable names to keep themselves in contention Thursday were No. 3 Lexi Thompson and New Zealand's Lydia Ko, who are part of a pack of players at 1 under. Amateur Lucy Li is another shot back at even par.

Defending champion Sung Hyun Park was one of several marquee players to struggle on a Shoal Creek course that was deluged by more than four inches of rain in recent days by Subtropical Storm Alberto. The fourth-ranked South Korean is tied for 96th at 4-over after finishing an inconsistent round that included four birdies, four bogies and a pair of double-bogeys.

She fared better than No. 2 Shanshan Feng, who sits in a tie for 134th at 6-over. The Chinese star didn't record a single birdie on Thursday. Neither did Jessica Korda, who entered the week as the scoring leader on the LPGA Tour this season but stumbled to a 5-over 77 with three bogeys and a double.

The USGA made the call on Wednesday to play the ball as it lies rather than making an unprecedented decision to allow players to lift, clean and place their balls. Some players handled the wet course better than others, and Kang said she wasn't worried about how her ball was sitting after her brother forced her to learn how to play "mud balls" while competing against each other as a teenager.

"The golf course is playing very long," Kang said. "Definitely challenges every aspect of the game.

"It's just like every other tournament. You've prepared the best you can, and done the best you can. So not being able to see the golf course one more time is not going to affect the way I play."

As Smith put it, it has been a "weird week" for the players. She took to Google Maps to research the course while biding her time early in the week, but said the zoom function wasn't advanced enough to be much help.

While Smith and others at least squeezed in nine holes of practice Monday, Jutanugarn was waiting for her clubs to arrive. With practice canceled Tuesday, she didn't play the course until a nine-hole practice round Wednesday.

She proceeded to fire her lowest career round at a U.S. Women's Open, an event in which she has never finished better than tied for 17th.

"Maybe because I didn't play much practice rounds and my clubs didn't show up, so I was kind of was like 'whatever, just go out and have fun,'" Jutanugarn said. "It's always different every year, and the U.S. Open is always one of the biggest tournaments. But I've been working on my commitment, and it's been getting better, so I didn't think about it being the U.S. Open. ... The only thing that I really want to work on is my commitment."

Smith entered the week having missed five of her past six cuts. She acknowledged that her biggest hurdle over the final three rounds is overcoming her nerves.

"I do get nervous out there, so I think the more I put myself in that position the more that I can manage those nerves," she said. "I would be good if I can get them under control. I need to kind of slow down and be quieter with everything."

The "6" in Lee's name is not a typo. The 22-year-old plays on the Korean LPGA Tour, where she is one of six players named Jeongeun Lee. Her fan club in South Korea is "Lucky 6," and she held a share of the 36-hole lead at the U.S. Open in 2017.

A year later, she is atop the leaderboard yet again, this time with a bogey-free 5-under opening round.

Among the chasers is Wie, who claimed her lone major title at the 2014 U.S. Women's Open.

"It's incredible that we played today," Wie said. "You would not have known that it rained that much. Considering how much rain it got, I don't think it was that bad, really. It's pretty impressive."

Wie said she is having fun playing golf this season and believes that her attitude of "taking everything as an adventure" is helping her overcome the adversity players are facing this week.

"You always feel pressure at the U.S. Open," Wie said. "You look forward to it the entire year. It's our national championship, and there is a lot of pressure. But I've been really focusing on just trying to take the game as a game and playing it as a game. Worrying doesn't really get you anywhere."

NOTES: Inbee Park, 29, is a two-time U.S. Women's Open winner. She is coming off a win on the Korean LPGA Tour and is also a two-time runner-up to go with five other top-10 finishes. ... There has not been a repeat winner through the first 13 LPGA tournaments this year, and there have been 11 consecutive different winners of women's majors. ... Karrie Webb, the last player to win consecutive U.S. Women's Opens (2000-01), received a special exemption into the tournament and is tied for 74th at 3-over.

--Field Level Media

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Thu, 09 Aug 2018 17:04:46 EST Coyotes lock up Dvorak with six-year extension
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:36:51 EST Poile among five chosen for U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 21:47:26 EST Coyotes D Chychrun (knee) cleared to skate
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 21:10:23 EST Wild D Suter expects to be ready for training camp
Tue, 07 Aug 2018 18:35:03 EST Blackhawks legend Mikita dies at 78
Tue, 07 Aug 2018 12:04:51 EST Blues F Tarasenko (shoulder) skates with team
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 16:07:12 EST Golden Knights star Karlsson avoids arbitration, signs one-year deal
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 14:22:35 EST Ducks G Gibson receives eight-year, $51.2 million extension
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 11:42:36 EST D Ceci gets $4.3M in arbitration with Senators
Fri, 03 Aug 2018 12:26:42 EST Senators F Stone avoids arbitration with one-year deal

WTA Stories

Thu, 16 Aug 2018 21:31:26 EST Stephens, other seeds fall in Cincinnati
Thu, 16 Aug 2018 00:24:25 EST Stephens overcomes injury to advance at Cincinnati
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 01:58:41 EST Serena Williams falls to Kvitova in 2nd round at Cincinnati
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 23:46:14 EST Serena sizzles in first-round win at Cincinnati
Sun, 12 Aug 2018 19:07:00 EST Halep defeats Stephens for second Rogers Cup win
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 21:59:58 EST Halep, Stephens set for rematch at Rogers Cup final
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 22:52:28 EST Stephens, Halep cruise to semis at Rogers Cup
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 16:40:27 EST Halep cruises past Venus at Rogers Cup
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 22:44:42 EST Cornet, Bertens notch second-round upsets at Rogers Cup
Tue, 07 Aug 2018 22:21:09 EST Sharapova completes suspended-match blowout in Montreal
Mon, 06 Aug 2018 23:27:01 EST Venus starts slow, rolls in Rogers Cup opener
Mon, 06 Aug 2018 20:54:47 EST Serena opens up about struggles with postpartum depression
Sun, 05 Aug 2018 20:58:33 EST WTA roundup: Buzarnescu wins first title, breaks into top 20
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 11:59:13 EST Serena Williams withdraws from Rogers Cup
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 01:34:04 EST WTA roundup: Sakkari knocks out Venus Williams in San Jose
Fri, 03 Aug 2018 00:57:59 EST WTA roundup: Keys joins San Jose exodus
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 00:09:59 EST WTA roundup: Muguruza withdraws from San Jose event
Wed, 01 Aug 2018 01:46:34 EST WTA roundup: Serena Williams loses 6-1, 6-0
Tue, 31 Jul 2018 03:18:34 EST WTA roundup: Boulter earns upset win at Citi Open
Sun, 29 Jul 2018 12:12:16 EST WTA roundup: Danilovic wins all-teen clash in Moscow final

LPGA Stories

Thu, 16 Aug 2018 21:21:51 EST Salas on top in Indy after 10-under 62
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 16:05:20 EST Thompson back in swing of things after emotional break
Sun, 05 Aug 2018 16:23:27 EST Rookie Hall becomes rare Englishwoman to win British Open
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 15:11:32 EST Phatlum shoots 69 to maintain 1-stroke lead at Women's British Open
Fri, 03 Aug 2018 15:54:16 EST Phatlum remains bogey-free to lead Women's British Open
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 16:19:03 EST Australian Lee captures first-round lead at Women's British Open
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 12:56:04 EST Wie withdraws from British Open with hand injury
Tue, 31 Jul 2018 19:14:46 EST Lincicome on another PGA event: 'Never say never'
Sun, 29 Jul 2018 14:38:16 EST Jutanugarn wins Scottish Ladies Open, will move to No. 1
Sat, 28 Jul 2018 15:50:50 EST Jutanugarn, Yang tied for 54-hold lead at Scottish Open
Fri, 27 Jul 2018 17:34:47 EST Joh keeps three-stroke lead at Ladies Scottish Open
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 18:28:25 EST Joh posts career-best round to lead Ladies Scottish Open
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 23:51:56 EST Lexi Thompson withdraws from British Open
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:23:37 EST Inbee Park stuns with withdrawal from UL International Crown
Sun, 15 Jul 2018 18:51:52 EST Suwannapura tops Lincicome in playoff to win Marathon Classic
Sat, 14 Jul 2018 18:09:24 EST Henderson leads by a stroke after Round 3 of Marathon Classic
Fri, 13 Jul 2018 19:36:18 EST Henderson, Hedwall share 36-hole lead at Marathon Classic
Thu, 12 Jul 2018 21:00:14 EST Suwannapura takes 1-shot lead in Marathon Classic
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 22:09:18 EST Kim breaks LPGA scoring record at Thornberry
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 21:46:07 EST Kim ties 54-hole record, leads by 8 at Thornberry

WNCAAB Stories

Tue, 14 Aug 2018 17:14:35 EST UConn, Tennessee set to renew rivalry in 2020
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 18:12:39 EST Portland, longtime Penn State women's hoops coach, dies at 65
Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:42:54 EST Former Tennessee great Charles-Furlow dead at 49
Fri, 06 Apr 2018 23:51:39 EST South Carolina's Wilson earns Wooden Award
Mon, 02 Apr 2018 15:50:53 EST UConn's Stevens skipping final season, entering WNBA draft
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 21:15:27 EST Easter stunner: Irish win title on last-second 3-pointer
Sat, 31 Mar 2018 18:07:32 EST South Carolina's Wilson wins Naismith player of year
Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:26:56 EST Ogunbowale's shot lifts Notre Dame over UConn in OT thriller
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 21:46:41 EST Mississippi State outlasts Louisville in OT to advance to national championship
Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:16:06 EST Notre Dame downs Oregon to charge into Final Four
Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:01:32 EST UConn routs defending champion South Carolina to reach Final Four
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 21:57:47 EST McCowan, Mississippi State outmuscle UCLA to reach Final Four
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 22:04:33 EST Durr scores 18 as Louisville romps into Final Four
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:46:48 EST Oregon cruises past Central Michigan to advance to Elite Eight
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 21:11:38 EST Notre Dame edges Texas A&M to make Elite Eight
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:52:26 EST Collier paces top-seeded UConn in win over Duke
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:57:12 EST No. 2 seed South Carolina pulls away late to top Buffalo
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 00:34:21 EST NCAA women's roundup: Oregon State stuns Baylor
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:54:01 EST Louisville overpowers Stanford in regional semis
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:40:30 EST UCLA edges Texas to reach Elite Eight

USA Stories

Wed, 15 Aug 2018 11:23:51 EST ESPN's Ley taking six-month sabbatical
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 13:39:24 EST Former WWE wrestler Neidhart dies at 63
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 13:08:48 EST Reports: Former Tour de France champ Ullrich arrested
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:05:38 EST Wings, beer ... bets? Buffalo Wild Wings' action plan
Fri, 03 Aug 2018 01:13:37 EST Reports: Pro wrestler Kane elected mayor in Tennessee
Mon, 30 Jul 2018 13:06:03 EST Ex-Olympian Miller, wife recount daughter's drowning death
Sun, 29 Jul 2018 21:12:38 EST Pro wrestlers Volkoff, Brian Lawler, Brown die in 24-hour span
Sun, 29 Jul 2018 13:36:05 EST Thomas rides into Paris as Tour de France champ
Sat, 28 Jul 2018 12:21:19 EST Dumoulin wins Stage 20, but Thomas all but seals TDF title
Fri, 27 Jul 2018 14:11:13 EST Roglic wins Stage 19, Thomas increases overall lead
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 13:47:52 EST Démare wins stage 18 of the Tour de France, Thomas maintains lead
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 17:07:57 EST Quintana claims Stage 17 of Tour de France; Thomas pads overall lead
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 15:32:30 EST Triple Crown winner Justify retired, owners announce
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 15:02:01 EST Ex-sports doctor Nassar appeals sentence, seeks removal of judge
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 17:53:34 EST Protests, pepper spray and crashes mar Tour de France Stage 16
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 11:24:09 EST Tour de France riders hit with tear gas by police
Mon, 23 Jul 2018 15:22:22 EST Team Sky's Gianni Moscon booted from Tour de France for punching another cyclist
Mon, 23 Jul 2018 12:57:56 EST Lochte suspended for 1 year for illegal IV
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 20:37:39 EST Espinoza breaks vertebra in neck after horse collapses, dies
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:51:13 EST Neilsen claims first stage win with dash at Tour de France

INDY Stories

Sun, 27 May 2018 17:54:42 EST Power finally claims elusive Indy 500 victory
Sun, 27 May 2018 17:40:48 EST Patrick crashes out of final Indy 500


Thu, 16 Aug 2018 10:45:02 EST McNair's parents want Maryland to fire Durkin
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 20:56:05 EST Reports: TCU DT Blacklock out for season with Achilles injury
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 21:01:14 EST College football notebook: Maryland interim coach touts health focus
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 20:28:02 EST CSU coach Bobo being treated for nerve condition
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 20:03:52 EST Penn State DL Buchholz cites health in retiring
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 19:27:31 EST Report: Sun Belt commissioner Benson to step down
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 18:06:29 EST Maryland interim coach Canada: Health, safety are 'primary focus'
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 13:35:44 EST Clemson, LSU announce home-and-home series
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 11:20:30 EST Report: WVU's Chugunov joining Buckeyes as grad transfer
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 20:42:08 EST LSU QBs McMillan, Narcisse leaving school
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 16:27:46 EST Maryland accepts responsibility for OL McNair's death
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 14:54:04 EST Harbaugh: Michigan QB competition continues
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 19:11:45 EST Ex-BYU LB Bernard cleared to play at Utah
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:41:52 EST CSU coach Bobo hospitalized after feeling numbness in feet
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:03:34 EST 2 more people arrested in Frost burglary
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:37:51 EST Zach Smith: I didn't tell Meyer about 2013 traffic-stop arrest
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 10:16:17 EST Pruitt: No clear leader in QB competition
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 21:14:04 EST College football notebook: Maryland coach Durkin placed on leave
Sun, 12 Aug 2018 00:01:49 EST Report: Zach Smith to meet with OSU investigators; Texas' Herman denies involvement
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 12:35:28 EST Southern Miss. QB Griggs suspended indefinitely