Pro assessed rare two-stroke penalty in nightmare start at U.S. Women’s Open

jing yan swings club

Jing Yan's U.S. Women's Open got off to a nightmare start Thursday.

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Jing Yan entered the week with hopes of living every golfer’s wildest dream. Yan, a 24-year-old LPGA Tour pro from China, was set to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open with the chance for her first-career major championship victory.

Instead, Jin Yang spent Thursday morning at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas living every golfer’s greatest nightmare.

At 9:42 a.m. ET on Thursday, Yan was scheduled to begin her opening round on the Cypress Creek course at the Women’s Open. Instead, at 9:42 a.m. ET on Thursday, the LPGA Tour pro was assessed a rare two-stroke penalty before her round ever began.

The reason for the infraction? Yan missed her tee time.

As for why she missed her tee time, the nightmare scenario could’ve happened for any number of reasons. The opening two rounds at this week’s Women’s Open are being conducted across two golf courses (Champions Golf Club’s Jackrabbit and Cypress Creek courses) in order to ensure the completion of play before sundown. In the same vein, the USGA elected to split tee times between the 1st and 10th holes to maximize play on both courses. Four different locations featured 9:42 a.m. tee times, and it’s possible Yan traveled to the wrong one, causing the delay.

In either case, the punishment was swift: a two-stroke penalty to be assessed on the first hole.

To her credit, Yan responded well to the tee time debacle. She smoked her drive and sunk a putt for birdie on the 1st, which turned into a bogey five after the penalty. She would make the turn in 1-over 37 after making birdie on the par-4 7th hole.

Still, we’re going to go out on a limb and guessing Jing Yan will be among the first on the tee box for her time on Friday morning.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow, during which time he cut his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News and Fox Sports. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.