Here’s what you missed from Round 1 of the U.S. Women’s Open

May 30, 2019
Nelly Korda U.S. Women's Open

The second women’s major of the year is here: the U.S. Women’s Open! It was a hot and sticky day at the historic Country Club of Charleston.

Here’s everything you missed from Thursday’s first-round action.

Mamiko Higa leads the charge

Mamiko Higa primarily competes on LPGA of Japan Tour, where she has four wins on her resume. This is Higa’s first U.S. Women’s Open appearance, and she’s off to quite a start: six birdies and no bogeys in the first round.

The last time a player won the U.S. Women’s Open in her first appearance was In Gee Chun in 2015 — so there is fairly recent precedent!

Another fun fact about Higa: Last October, she married Ikioi Shota, a world-class sumo wrestler.

How's the course?

The course looks stellar, and is playing just a touch easier than most people expected, with two dozen players under par through Round 1.

The best draw is definitely the morning, though — that’s when the wind is down and it’s significantly cooler. There was very little movement up the leaderboard from the afternoon wave on Thursday. As far as heat is concerned, the “feels like” index today was into the low 100s for the afternoon players. I can confirm: it’s hot! It will be interesting to see how things even out tomorrow on the leaderboard when today’s afternoon players go out first tomorrow morning. Luckily, no rain is forecast at the moment.

Lizette Salas shot even par on Thursday and is T25 heading into Round 2.
Lizette Salas shot even par on Thursday and is T25 heading into Round 2.
USA Today Sports

Who else is in the hunt?

Spain’s Azahara Munoz is T-5 at three under par.

Sisters Nelly Korda and Jessica Korda both shot two under par on Thursday and are T-7. Emma Talley (one under par, T-14) is a young up-and-comer who won the U.S. Amateur when it was staged at the Country Club of Charleston back in 2013.

How are the other big names playing?

Seven-time major champion Inbee Park finished at one under par (70) on Thursday. She’s seeking her third U.S. Women’s Open title.

Lexi Thomspon also shot one under par, which is five shots back of Higa’s lead.

World Nos. 2 and 3, Minjee Lee and Sung Hyun Park, are six shots back at even par.

Jennifer Kupcho was also even par in her professional debut.

Lydia Ko, World No. 1 Jinyoung Ko, Maria Fassi, Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson and Amy Yang are seven shots back at one over par.

Paula Creamer is two over par, and 14-year-old Alexa Pano shot four over par.

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