PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — Comparisons were inevitable by hosting the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open on the game golf course in consecutive weeks.
Only these had nothing to do with numbers.
Stacy Lewis found comfort in comparisons with U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer. The No. 1 player in women's golf studied Pinehurst No. 2 on her own a few weeks ago, formulated an idea how to play the golf course, and then watched Martin Kaymer follow the script she had in her head and win by eight shots.
Just like Kaymer, she opened Thursday without a bogey on her card, a 3-under 67 for a one-shot lead over Michelle Wie.
"It was cool to see the plan I had laid out in my head. He was kind of doing the same thing," Lewis said. "So it was nice coming into the week knowing that my plan was going to work on this golf course. ... If you're hitting the ball well enough, you can definitely run away with it. At the same time, you have to know par is a good number and keep grinding away."
Right behind was Wie, who studied as hard for Pinehurst as she ever did at Stanford. She was at Pinehurst on Sunday to watch the final round, and later picked up the yardage books from a few friends in south Florida — U.S. Open runner-up Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley — and compared notes.
Wie charted her way to four birdies on the back nine for a 68.
"I did a lot of homework," she said. "Just took the notes from both of the books. It really helped just because they played last week in similar conditions. And they're obviously great players. I definitely learned a thing or two."
Her putter certainly helped. Wie rolled in long birdie putts at Nos. 12 and 14, made a good par save after going into a bunker on the 17th and hit her approach to 5 feet on the final hole. It was her lowest opening round in a U.S. Women's Open. She had started with an 80 or higher four of the last six years.
They were among only five players under par when the first round was halted by thunderstorms with 30 players who did not finish.
Kaymer, who started with a bogey-free 65 on his way to a wire-to-wire win, was among 15 players who broke par in the first round of the men's Open. The scoring average Thursday was 75.73, about 2 1/2 shots harder than it was for the men.
Pinehurst No. 2 played 1,064 yards shorter than it did for the opening round of the U.S. Open. That didn't make it any easier.
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