U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
I.K. Kim Leads Suspended Second Round Of Women’s Open July 7, 2011 By Ken Klavon, USGA

I.K. Kim of Korea, the 2005 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, holds a two-stroke lead at the suspended second round of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open. (Chris Keane/USGA)

 

Colorado Springs, Colo. – So far, the 66th U.S. Women’s Open has been more noteworthy for its fits and starts than for the action on the course.

The field endured another weather delay on Friday at The Broadmoor’s East Course, this one for 66 minutes due to lightning in the area. At 8:25 p.m. MDT, play was suspended for the day because of darkness. Overall, 33 players completed 36 holes. Play will resume at 7 a.m. Saturday. Weather permitting the third round will begin sometime in the afternoon on Saturday with golfers playing in threesomes from the first and 10th tees. The cut will be the low 60 scorers and ties, plus anyone within 10 strokes of the lead.   

On Thursday, play was first suspended at 12:47 MDT, and the players never returned to the course. For the third time in six years – following 2006 at Newport Country Club and 2007 at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club – the weather has forced double rounds. In 1987 at Plainfield (N.J.) Country Club, the championship ended on a Tuesday after weather delays hampered play and an 18-hole playoff was needed.

The theme on the 7,047-yard, par-71 East Course layout is quickly turning to tired minds and tired legs.

"It's just part of the deal," said 18-hole leader Stacy Lewis, who at two under par had two holes left to complete her second round. "My legs were getting kind of rubbery."

Said Angela Stanford, even par through 36 holes: I was afraid during the delay that if I sat down I wouldn’t get back up. I’m happy where I’m at right now. I told my caddie on one of the fairways that at least our rounds had a little flow to them.

Lewis and Wendy Ward, both at two under par, trailed I.K. Kim of Korea by two strokes.

When play was called for the night, Kim led at four under par with four holes to play. Kim, winner of the 2005 U.S. Girls’ Junior, was working on her second bogey-free round. It reminded some of Rory McIlroy’s streak at last month’s U.S. Open, where he played his first 35 holes without making a bogey. In four previous Women’s Opens, Kim has tied for third twice.

Kim, who posted an opening 1-under 70, gradually built up momentum in Round 2 by birdieing the sixth, ninth and 11th holes. Lewis had been in the driver’s seat, ending the first round in the lead at 3-under 68, one stroke ahead of 18-year-old amateur Amy Anderson, Ryann O’Toole and Lizette Salas. Of that group, only Anderson did not hit a shot on Friday.

I love where I am, said Lewis after the first round. Anything under par at a U.S. Open is a good spot. … It's in the back of your mind when you're walking up those hills at the end.

Lewis began her second round with a 25-foot, curling downhill birdie putt at the first hole to get to four under par for the championship. She hit 16 consecutive greens in regulation dating to the first round before missing the green at the par-3 eighth. She got to five under par on No. 12 just after play resumed before running into trouble on the par-4 14th hole, carding a bogey. On the next hole, she registered a double bogey to drop to two under.

Lewis is trying to win her second major of the season, having won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in March.

I wish we would have finished, said Lewis. I’m frustrated with the way I finished.

Salas, playing in her fourth professional event since graduating from the University of Southern California in May, finished at 2-over 73 for a 36-hole total of level-par 142. I was getting tired both physically and mentally. I just kind of thought of it as another U.S. Open qualifier where I played 36 holes and tried not to get too ahead of myself. 

Ken Klavon is the USGA’s online editor. E-mail questions or comments to kklavon@usga.org.