SAN FRANCISCO — Yuka Saso held steady in a brutal Olympic Club golf course, firing a solid two-under par 69 on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) to stalk the leaders after one round of the US Women's Open.
The Fil-Japanese teenager negated two early bogeys with four birdies, including one on the last hole of the Lake course that entrenched her in the Top 10 of the major - just two shots behind leaders Megha Ganne and Mel Reid.
The 19-year old Saso, a gold medalist in the 2018 Asian Games and a multiple winner on the Japanese Tour, is competing in only her second US Open.
High school junior Ganne became the first amateur in 15 years to have a share of the lead after any round at the U.S. Women's Open.
The 17-year-old from New Jersey made back-to-back birdies on the back nine to take sole possession of the lead before making bogey on the 18th hole to end the day in a tie with Reid.
Ganne became the first amateur to lead after a round at the women's Open since Jane Park did it after one round at Newport Country Club in 2006.
Reid started at the 10th hole and hit her first two approach shots within 10 feet for birdies on the par 4s. She added birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, another on her second-to-last hole and had only one bogey all round.
Reid, who won her first LPGA Tour title last October to go with her six career wins on the European Tour, has had little career success at the U.S. Women’s Open. She missed the cut four of her previous five times at this tournament and finished tied for 50th in her other appearance in 2012.
The notoriously tough Lake Course played a little easier than usual after the rough was trimmed a bit before the round.
Fifteen players shot under par with Canada's Brooke Henderson, and Americans Angel Yin and Megan Khang one shot back. Henderson three-putted from less than 20 feet on the 18th hole to fall out of a share of the lead.
Lexi Thompson and Shanshan Feng are tied with Saso, just two shots back.
Other notable players include defending champion A Lim Kim of South Korea, who struggled at 6 over, and 2014 champion Michelle Wie West, who shot 74.
This marked the first time the women came to the Lake Course overlooking the Pacific Ocean for a major. But this venue has a rich history for the men, hosting five U.S. Opens and three U.S. Amateurs among other events.
Reid said she was helped by a couple of long conversations with two-time men’s U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka that she carried over into the round.
“He gave me a few things that he follows by in a major, so obviously appreciate his help,” she said. “What he told me was, I thought, invaluable honestly, and it made me have a little bit different approach. That’s why I feel like I prepared the best.”
This marked the first time the women came to the Lake Course overlooking the Pacific Ocean for a major. But this venue has a rich history for the men, hosting five U.S. Opens and three U.S. Amateurs among other events. - With reports from AP