EDINA, Minn. The gallery around the ninth green at Interlachen grew quickly late Thursday afternoon as the fans anticipated Annika Sorenstam's arrival in her final U.S. Women's Open. They arrived in time to see Pat Hurst finish off quite a turnaround.
Down in the dumps after missing yet another short putt, Hurst played her next seven holes in 6-under par and finished off her round of 6-under 67 with an 8-iron that rolled off the fringe to 3 feet for a share of the lead with Ji Young Oh.
Sorenstam played in the group behind Hurst, before the largest galleries of a sunshine-filled afternoon, but she didn't give them much to cheer. The three-time Open champion, retiring at the end of the year, made four bogeys in a six-hole stretch and staggered to a 75, her highest opening round at this major since she played in 1992 as an amateur.
Sorenstam wasn't alone in her struggles.
Lorena Ochoa, the No. 1 player in women's golf who has won two of the last three majors, didn't make a birdie until the 14th hole in the morning, when the conditions were soft. She rallied with three birdies on her last five holes for a 73.Michelle Wie, hoping to build on recent momentum, butchered the ninth hole on her way to a quintuple-bogey 9 and shot 81.
BUICK OPEN: At Grand Blanc, Mich., Corey Pavin, Bo Van Pelt and Dudley Hart shot 8-under 64s to share the first-round lead. Briny Baird and Daniel Chopra were a stroke back.
FRENCH OPEN: At Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, Spanish qualifier Pablo Larrazabal shot a 6-under 65 to take a one-shot lead after the first round. Playing without a driver, Larrazabal relied on a 3-wood off the tee on Le Golf National's Albatross Course.
U.S. Women's Open
Ji Young Oh -6
Lorena Ochoa E
Annika Sorenstam +2
Michelle Wie +8