Lindblad sets U.S. Women’s Open amateur mark with 6-under 65 | Sports

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — Ingrid Lindblad made up our minds months in the past that she sought after to stick in school as an alternative of turning skilled.

That could be a monetary resolution she involves feel sorry about.

The 22-year-old Swede shot the bottom around by means of an novice within the 77-year historical past of the U.S. Women’s Open, a 6-under 65 that left her a shot in the back of first-round chief Mina Harigae on Thursday.

Because she’s an novice, Lindblad wouldn’t be capable to acquire the report $1.8 million first-place prize if she wins. She would have needed to claim as a certified sooner than the event started.

When requested if, in hindsight, that was once a mistake, the LSU junior recognized to her buddies as “Iggy” paused and mentioned with a grin, “I’m going to stay in college for like another year or so.

“But when you say it, yeah … it would have been fun to win a little bit of money,” she mentioned.

She has a 54 holes to navigate, but Lindblad has a chance to become only the second amateur to win the U.S. Women’s Open. The other was Catherine Lacoste in 1967.

Lindblad didn’t seem overwhelmed at the opportunity.

“Yeah, it’s possible,” she said.

Three amateurs had previously shot 66 — Carol Semple Thompson in 1994, Brittany Lincicome in 2004 and Gina Kim in 2019.

Lindblad tied for 30th at 6-over 292 in her only other U.S. Women’s Open appearance in 2020.

She set the tone for a strong opening round in Southern Pines by winning the Southeastern Conference individual championship in April after making a 38-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole. She showed some of that same prowess on Thursday, needing only 26 putts.

“She was fearless,” said Lindblad’s playing partner, Annika Sorenstam, Sweden’s most famous female golfer and a three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion.

Lindblad will have to contend with what is shaping up to be a strong leaderboard.

Three-time major winner Anna Nordqvist, also from Sweden, and 2021 Evian Championship champion Minjee Lee of Australia were at 67 with American Ryann O’Toole.

Lexi Thompson, who surrendered a five-shot lead in the final round of last year in the event and lost by a stroke, was four shots back after an opening round 68. Fellow American Ally Ewing also shot 68.

“As far as last year, it’s over with, it’s this year,” Thompson said. “I took it, I learned from it, and I moved on.”

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko, the world’s top-ranked player and one of the most consistent ball-strikers in the tournament, shot a 69 — hitting 13 of 14 greens in regulation.

“I was just trying to get the middle of the green every shot, every hole,” Ko mentioned. “It’s difficult because the green looks wider but the landing area is smaller.”

Nelly Korda seemed sturdy in her go back from surgical operation and looks in a position to contend, as neatly.

Outside of a double bogey on the par-4 eleventh, the sector’s No. 2-ranked participant performed a somewhat flawless around in her first aggressive event since Feb. 25 after creating a blood clot in her arm. She shot 70.

“I definitely had a lot of adrenaline on that first hole. I think I piped my driver so far,” Korda mentioned. “I like kind of felt sick how much adrenaline I was feeling, and then calmed myself down and played pretty well. Just had one unfortunate lost ball on I think 11, but other than that I played pretty solid.”

Michelle Wie West completed with a 73 in what is predicted to be her second-to-last primary sooner than retiring.

Defending champion Yuka Saso from Japan struggled, taking pictures 77.

The 51-year-old Sorenstam, a 10-time primary champion, was once even par after her first 13 holes however completed with a 74 after qualifying for the development by means of successful the U.S. Women’s Senior Open final yr. She mentioned she not will get mad at herself when issues do not pass neatly and is just looking to benefit from the event together with her circle of relatives. She gained at Pine Needles in 1996.

Harigae has 19 occupation most sensible 10s at the LPGA Tour however that is the primary time she’s led a event.

She shot 30 at the entrance 9 and surged forward of Lindblad with birdie at the par-3 sixteenth hollow on a heat-drenched afternoon that drove some spectators to the exits early.

Harigae, who performed three hundred and sixty five days at Duke sooner than turning professional, mentioned she was once overjoyed to be again in North Carolina, joking that she drew inspiration from six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, who performed for the Tar Heels.

“Obviously, being a big Jordan fan, so just kind of like going off the Jordan vibes,” Harigae mentioned. “Must be the shoes, right?”

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