sport

Lewis sets Pinehurst pace

Stacy Lewis leads the US Women's Open field by one stroke after shooting 67 on her first round at Pinehurst while 11-year-old Lucy Li shot an eight-over 78 on Thursday.

Stacy Lewis leads the US Women's Open field by one stroke after shooting 67 on her first round at Pinehurst while 11-year-old Lucy Li shot an eight-over 78 on Thursday.

The top-ranked women's player in the world found three birdies on her way around the North Carolina course and her fellow American Michelle Wie is a shot back after mixing five birdies with two bogeys.

Yet the main focus at the Pinehurst Resort was on the exploits of Li - at 11 the youngest qualifier to compete at the US Women's Open after beating the record of Lexi Thompson, who qualified for the 2007 tournament aged 12.

The Californian amateur, who signed for birdies on the first and fifth holes but added three bogeys, two double bogeys and triple bogey to her card, trails Lewis by 11 shots.

"Getting to play in the US Open was a lot of fun. I kind of struggled today, but it was great," said Li. "I'm happy with how I played. I just need to get rid of the big numbers.

"I'm happy I broke 80, because I got two doubles and a triple and that can really ruin a score. I just need to get rid of the big numbers."

Within two strokes of Lewis' lead are Minjee Lee, Ryu So-yeon and Katherine Kirk. Australian amateur Lee found an eagle on the par-five fifth while her compatriot Kirk mixed three birdies with two bogeys.

Northern Ireland-born 22-year-old Stephanie Meadow is locked in a five-way share of sixth place after shooting an even-par round of 70 that featured three birdies and three bogeys.

Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb, Candie Kung and Mina Harigae are also three shots off the pace set by Lewis.