Australia's World Number 1 amateur Minjee Lee has made a superb start to this year's U.S Women's Open with an opening round 1-under par 69 at Pinehurst No.2 in North Carolina.
Minjee Lee is right in contention at the U.S Women's Open. Photo: Getty
The 69 sees Lee sitting in a tie for 3rd place with fellow Australian Katherine Kirk and Korean So-Yeon Ryu who won the U.S Open in 2011.
Lee mixed two birdies and an eagle with three bogies during her round.
"I had a pretty good round today, I guess, considering how I hit it. I chipped and putted pretty good. And there's always room for improvement. I'm hoping for every round a little bit more improvement," Lee said.
I think everyone is going to miss greens. It's playing tough. So I'm just trying to get the ball to have a little fade on it, so it stops, it holds the greens. Yeah, just trying to get that shape into my head," she added.
American Stacy Lewis leads the championship after a 3-under par 67, one stroke ahead of compatriot Michelle Wie at 2-under in warm conditions.
"It wasn't really, really hot, but it was just really humid, like I'm all sweaty right now, so you can see how it was hot today. Yeah, I drank lots of water and everyone had their towels out. It was pretty hot," Lee said.
Asked about her eagle on the par 5 5th hole, Lee said "Just hit my drive down the left side and it just kind of rolled all the way down to like the bottom bit there. And I hit hybrid on just, not on the green, but about a yard off the green to the right and I putted it in. So, yeah, it was good."
Queenslander Katherine Kirk's form has been improving and the 32 year-old was pleased with her start.
"Even par is always a good scores in a U.S. Open. And I would have expected the course to get tougher the next three days, as well. Unless we get rain. So, yeah, I'll be happy if I'm even at the end of the week."
Karrie Webb finished with an even par 70 to be one stroke behind Lee.
"I did have good feelings here. I came a couple of weeks ago ahead of -- before the men played. And I loved it as soon as I was here. It does really remind me of Sand Belt golf in Melbourne, where you don't always have a perfect lie, even in the fairway. And you have to be creative around the greens. And that's definitely a recipe to play well in Melbourne and it is here, as well," Webb said.