Lin, H.J. Kim lead at Pebble as world’s top 4 flop

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Pebble Seaside was every part the very best ladies golfers on this planet imagined for the primary U.S. Girls’s Open with its uncooked magnificence, marine layer and chill within the air.

For a few of them, it was a sheer beast.

Xiyu Janet Lin and Hyo Joo Kim might take in the surroundings, every of them with a 4-under 68 on Thursday to share the lead after one spherical of a historic week on one of the vital well-known golf programs in America.

“We’re a part of the historical past. It is actually cool,” Lin stated. “I sort of informed myself it doesn’t matter what, that is going to be a memorable week.”

It was a forgettable begin for Jin Young Ko, whose 79 was her worst U.S. Girls’s Open rating by 4 pictures. And she or he had firm. The highest 4 gamers within the ladies’s world rating mixed to go 22 over par with Nelly Korda and Lydia Ko at 76 and Lilia Vu at 79.

Rose Zhang, the 20-year-old Stanford sensation who gained in her professional debut final month, wasted a very good begin with a double bogey on the eighth gap that slowed her momentum. She performed the ultimate 10 holes in 2 over for a 74.

“I felt like the sport on the whole was fairly strong,” Zhang stated. “It was simply the mishap on 8 that sort of turned my whole spherical slightly bit.”

She did not make a birdie the remainder of the way in which and needed to chip on her final 4 holes — certainly one of them from the improper facet of the inexperienced on the par-3 seventeenth simply as Gary Woodland did in 2019 when he gained the U.S. Open. She practically holed it, a superbly clipped wedge she had by no means tried in competitors.

“At all times one thing new,” Zhang stated with amusing.

Lin started her spherical on the powerful par-4 tenth gap, and he or she saved par on 4 of her opening 5 holes earlier than holing an 8-foot birdie putt on the fifteenth. The Chinese language participant’s lone bogey got here on the finish when she didn’t stand up and down from in need of a bunker on No. 9.

“Originally, placing positively saved me,” stated Lin, who took solely 25 putts and was main the sector in the important thing placing statistic. “Making these brief putts actually sort of boosted my confidence, making me really feel extra snug to assault after I wanted to.”

Kim, whose lone main was the Evian Championship in 2014, was 4 below by way of eight holes till her lone bogey at No. 9. She made just one birdie the remainder of the day, holing a 20-footer on the seventeenth that allowed her to catch Lin.

She stated she was glad along with her rating and the placement.

“I believe I can brag about this, my alternative to play at Pebble Seaside,” Kim stated.

Irish newbie Aine Donegan did not get her golf equipment till Tuesday — solely to seek out her driver broken — and had a 69 that included a wedge she holed out from 96 yards on the fifteenth. She was in a big group 1 shot behind that features the extra notable Irish participant, Leona Maguire, who birdied the 18th.

Maguire is coming off a tricky loss two weeks in the past within the Girls’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol when she misplaced the 54-hole lead with a 74.

“I believe if you’ve received one other main arising as fast as this was and at someplace like Pebble, I believe your focus shifts fairly rapidly,” Maguire stated. “Wanting ahead to a different alternative this week, hopefully.”

This has been among the many most anticipated occasions of the yr for ladies’s golf due to the placement. Pebble Seaside is probably the most iconic of U.S. Open venues, and probably the most recognizable with its seaside views on half of the holes.

Lin stated she received the very best recommendation from the particular person engaged on her golf equipment.

“He simply informed me, ‘No matter gap you are at, simply take 30 seconds to search for on the view and you can be very grateful the place you’re.’ I believe it is completely proper,” she stated. “Yeah, even immediately when there was some demanding pictures arising, I simply sort of inform myself how grateful I’m to be really hitting a shot on this gap.”

Jin Younger Ko was already dropping floor when she pulled her tee shot left and over the cliffs onto the seaside on the par-3 seventeenth, resulting in double bogey. In 24 earlier rounds within the U.S. Girls’s Open, she by no means had worse than a 75.

She performed with Korda, the No. 2 participant on this planet who missed the lower on the Girls’s PGA two weeks in the past. Korda started her massive day at Pebble Seaside by sending her opening drive over the cliff and onto the seaside at No. 10 for a double bogey.

Lydia Ko hit a wild hook on the par-3 fifth gap and wound up with a quadruple-bogey 7 that despatched her to a 76 and ruined an in any other case strong spherical.

Michelle Wie West and Annika Sorenstam are enjoying what doubtless will probably be their final U.S. Girls’s Open, each drawn again by the lure of enjoying Pebble Seaside. Each are prone to be leaving sooner than they needed. Wie West shot 79 and Sorenstam had an 80.

Zhang holds the Pebble Seaside file for ladies, a 63 final September at a school match. It is a totally different course, a stronger check. She made birdie putts at Nos. 3 and 4 and was as calm because the ocean till No. 8.

Her 4-hybrid tailed off to the best down a financial institution of thick grass, and he or she by no means discovered the ball and needed to return to the golf green. It was a fast reminder that the U.S. Girls’s Open was far totally different from a school match.

“Undoubtedly very totally different,” she stated. “Pin places had been tucked very near the perimeters, and even in case you do hit a fantastic shot, generally you are punished for going on the pin and being actually aggressive. … And tees had been longer, too. That minimizes your birdie probabilities. And even in case you are enjoying strong golf, much less birdies equal greater scores.”

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