June 19, 2014
VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. - UC Davis freshman Paige Lee is off to a solid start at the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2, firing a 3-over 73 for a tie for 35th place after Thursday's opening round, while tying for the tournament lead with five birdies.
Inclement weather stopped first-round action on Thursday evening with nearly 30 players in the 156-player field still on the course. They'll finish their rounds early Friday morning.
Lee, who is from nearby Folsom, just completed her first season with the Aggie women's golf team. She earned All-Big West first-team honors before qualifying last month in Half Moon Bay for women's golf's largest stage this week.
Playing in one of the tournament's opening groups and starting on the 10th hole, Lee quickly jumped to 2 under with birdies on the par-5, 455-yard 10th hole and par-4, 385-yard 11th. She capped her opening nine holes with another birdie on the par-4 18th to help her make her turn a shot under par.
Lee had six bogeys on her final nine holes but partially countered them with back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes to help her finish with a 73.
She is currently tied for third among the 25 amateurs in the tournament and will be trying to make the 36-hole cut on Friday, which will advance the top 60 players and ties to the final two rounds.
Lee has made a name for herself when it comes to her five birdies. She is tied with noted professional Michelle Wie and amateur Mathilda Cappeliez atop the overall birdies leaderboard, and shares the lead with several others for birdies on par-5 holes. Lee had two on Thursday. She also hit 85 percent of her fairways and was 44 percent successful in greens-in-regulation.
She is scheduled to start her second round at 9:41 a.m. (PDT) on Friday and will play with the same players she did on Thursday - Kelsey MacDonald of Scotland and amateur Madison Kerley of the United States.