Sunshine dampens scoring at U.S. Women's Open
By Larry Fine
LANCASTER, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Sunshine replaced overcast skies and thunderstorms at the U.S. Women's Open on Friday but scores took a turn for the worse at the rain-softened Lancaster Country Club.
Australian Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, unheralded American Marina Alex and 2004 U.S. Amateur winner Jane Park had shared the first-round lead with four-under 66s after the weather-interrupted opening round was completed on Friday morning.
Midway through the second round, afternoon starters Webb and Alex had dipped to three under, while Park was in the clubhouse at two-under 138 after a pair of late bogeys gave her a second-round 72.
South Korean Amy Yang edged ahead with a birdie at the fourth hole to put her name atop the leaderboard at four-under after completing five holes of her second round on the hilly, parkland course in the midst of Pennsylvania's Amish country.
Livelier winds, trickier pins and deceptively soft, slower greens seemed to confuse the early wave of players, including world number one Park In-bee, who posted an even-par 70 for 138 in her quest for a second major in a row.
"It was playing a little bit longer this morning and we got the wind as well," said Park, who won last month's Women's PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club. "The pin positions were a little trickier."
Park said it was hard to get used to the speed of the greens since U.S. Open putting surfaces usually run very fast.
"I hit probably every putt short," she said. "I think that's what everybody has been doing. It's hard to think that you have to smash the putts at a U.S. Open. Continued...