2 S. Koreans 2 shots back after opening round at U.S. Women’s Open

May 31, 2024

Two South Korean golfers found themselves two strokes off the lead after a low-scoring opening round of the U.S. Women’s Open in Pennsylvania.

Kim Sei-young and Jenny Shin are tied for fifth place after each shot an even-par round of 70 to begin the second LPGA major tournament of the year at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster on Thursday (local time).

Only four players in the field of 156 broke par in the first round, with Yuka Saso of Japan in the lead after shooting 68.

Kim had three birdies and three bogeys, while Shin traded four birdies with four bogeys.

Kim is a 12-time LPGA winner with one major title to her credit, the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The 31-year-old has not won since November 2020.

Shin, whose Korean given name is Ji-eun, earned her only LPGA title so far in May 2016. She has had three top-10 finishes in 61 previous starts in majors.

Kim said afterward she tried to stay patient on what she called “a tough golf course.”

“I teed off early in the morning, and the temperature cooled down a little. I feel like the first six holes played a little longer,” Kim said. “But I tried to keep patience, just waiting for the opportunity.”

Kim also said she was happy to walk away with pars on some holes.

“I have to keep it in the fairway on every hole, and greens are really slopey,” she said. “It’s not easy. It’s a good U.S. Open.”

Shin, who bounced back after making four bogeys in a six-hole stretch midway through, said she is happy with the state of her game at the moment.

“I think out of all the U.S. Opens, this is the best position I’m in, whether it’s mentally, physically, swing,” she said. “I feel like tough conditions like this, good playing could really reveal the player, so I’m just hoping that I can stay calm, and keep doing what I did today and all the way through Sunday.”

Among other South Koreans, Joo Soo-bin shot a 71 and Korean tour player Kim Min-byeol carded a 72.

Chun In-gee, an LPGA veteran who won the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at the same Lancaster course, shot a 75 with six bogeys and just one birdie. Ko Jin-young and Kim Hyo-joo, the two highest-ranked South Koreans at world No. 7 and 10, respectively, both shot 75s.

Twenty players shot an 80 or worse, including world No. 1 Nelly Korda, who committed a rare septuple bogey 10 on the par-3 12th hole en route to an 80

Former No. 1 and two-time major champion Lydia Ko also wrote 80 on her scorecard after one birdie, six bogeys, one double bogey and one triple bogey.