PRIDDIS, Alta.—Stephanie Meadow didn’t mind the inclement weather conditions during the first round of the LPGA’s Canadian Open yesterday.
After a lightning delay that lasted nearly three hours, Meadow didn’t miss a beat as she birdied her final two holes to take the clubhouse lead at six-under 66 before play eventually was suspended because of darkness.
South Korea’s Chella Choi, who teed off with the afternoon group, was seven-under through 14 holes but had to finish her first round this morning.
Karine Icher joined Meadow at six-under through 14 holes and also was to finish Round 1 this morning.
Golfers also had to battle windy, rainy, and chilly conditions, which Meadow often endured while growing up in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland.
“My caddie always jokes that when it’s windy I always play great, so I guess that’s kind of my deal,” noted Meadow, who had seven birdies and one bogey yesterday.
The group tied for fourth at 67 included Lydia Ko, the Olympic silver-medallist from New Zealand, who is No. 1 in the Rolex women’s world golf rankings.
“I played solid—birdied the first hole straight off the bat,” said Ko, who has won the Canadian Open in three of the past four years, including last year at the Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C., where she beat American Stacy Lewis in a playoff.
“So when you make a birdie in the first round on the first hole, it gives you good momentum,” she noted.
South Korea’s Mirim Lee held the early lead of five-under through 13 holes when players were shuttled off the course due to lightning in the area.
When play resumed nearly three hours later, Lee bogeyed the 14th hole before bouncing back with a birdie on 15 and then three-straight pars to card a score of 67.
Mi Jung Hur, also of South Korea, then birdied the 18th hole just after Lee signed her scorecard to pull into a tie for the lead.
“I was here about seven years ago—and I have good memories,” noted Hur, who finished in a tie for 16th the last time the Canadian Open was held in Priddis in 2009.
“But this year the conditions are super nice,” she added. “The greens are super fast.
“I think this is the fastest greens I’ve ever had on the Tour.”
Brooke Henderson, the 18-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont. who is No. 3 in the Rolex rankings, was scheduled to tee off at 1:31 p.m. yesterday but didn’t hit her first shot until nearly three hours later.
Through 15 holes, Henderson sat in a tie for 46th spot with a host of other golfers at one-under.
Hamilton’s Alena Sharp was one of the golfers who started in the afternoon but she was able to finish her round at four-under 68.