U.S. Women’s Open Notebook
WEST POINT, Miss. (AP) _ Jenny Chuasiriporn, the amateur who forced a 20-hole playoff in last year’s U.S Women’s Open, had the early lead during her professional debut in the same major.
Then she got to the back nine at Old Waverly Golf Club on Thursday.
Things started innocently enough when Chuasiriporn hit the fairway with her drive at No. 10, a 520-yard par 5. But her 4-wood approach went wide right, bounding hard off the cart path and going out of bounds.
``The mishit on No. 10 shook me up,″ Chuasiriporn admitted.
And it affected her for several holes.
Her penalty shot at the 10th landed in the rough. By the time she got on the green and three-putted for a triple-bogey, Chuasiriporn had fallen back to even par and out of the lead.
Chuasiriporn followed with a double-bogey at No. 11 after her second shot _ another 4-wood _ found Lake Waverly that borders the entire left side of the 408-yard hole.
After adding a bogey with a three-putt at the 151-yard 12th hole, Chuasiriporn was 3-over. She had another double-bogey and bogey before finally getting a 15-foot birdie at the 183-yard 17th hole.
Chuasiriporn had a 44 on the back nine to finish at 5-over 77, 13 strokes behind first-round leader Kelli Kuehne.
``Two nines like that ... it’s just mental, there’s no excuse for it,″ Chuasiriporn said. ``But I had a good front nine to balance it out. I actually feel really good coming off the day.″
CADDY SHARING: Patty Sheehan isn’t at this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, but her longtime caddie is.
Carl Laib is on the bag this week for Beth Daniel, who said the caddie made a difference as she recorded an opening 1-under 71 Thursday.
``Carl is always very prepared. He knows every detail about the golf course,″ Daniel said. ``He flew in here on Friday night and spent the whole weekend out here. Carl is a great caddie and I was lucky to get him this week.″
When Sheehan knew she wasn’t going to play in this year’s Open, she got her caddie and her friend in touch. Daniel and Laib now plan to also work together at the LPGA Championship in three weeks.
OPEN FIXTURE: Carol Thompson is playing in her 29th U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur.
Only one woman in this year’s 150-player field has been in more Opens. Three-time champion Hollis Stacy is playing in her 30th this year.
Thompson, who shot a first-round 1-over 73 Thursday, got into this year’s USGA championship only after an impressive shot in a qualifying tournament.
Playing the qualifying tournament at her home course, the Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley, Pa., Thompson recorded an eagle on the par-5 18th hole to earn a spot into the Open.
LONE MISSISSIPPIAN: The first major championship played in Mississippi has only one player with any ties to the state.
From 1984-86, Kim Williams played at Mississippi State, which is in Starkville less than a half-hour from Old Waverly Golf Club.
Williams was the first-round leader at two U.S. Women’s Opens, with sub-70 rounds to open the 1996 and 1998 tournaments. But she faltered in the second round of both, with an 81 last year and a 78 in 1996.
This year, Williams had an opening 2-over 74, 10 strokes off the lead.
Williams was struck in the neck by a stray bullet in 1994 while entering a drug store during the week of the Youngstown-Warren LPGA Classic. The bullet was removed in 1995, but now Williams is recovering from back surgery she underwent last September and is playing in only her fourth tournament this year.