Sorenstam left before speaking to the media, but no doubt she wanted to put this day behind her.
One day after Karrie Webb opened with an 83 for the worst score of her career, Sorenstam looked as though she might join her.
She finished off a 1-under 70 in the morning, then after a quick turnaround, began her second round with a double bogey when a chip up the slope on the 10th hole came back to her feet. She blew another chip some 18 feet by the hole, found the bunker with a sand wedge on the par-5 15th and went out in 42 to fall off the leaderboard.
Sorenstam was 7 over through 10 holes until she steadied herself, and a birdie on No. 8 brought her to 5 over for the tournament.
Two players not many people expected to see beyond Friday made it to the weekend under such circumstances.
Alexis Thompson, the 12-year-old from south Florida who became the youngest qualifier in history, chipped in for birdie from 40 yards to complete a respectable 76 in the morning, but her round got away from her in the afternoon. She was 12 over with five holes remaining, including some of the toughest at Pine Needles.
"It's pretty cool, being here another day," she said.
The other is Michelle Wie, who opened with an 82 and didn't get past the practice range Friday.
The biggest spectacle might have been the dozen Japanese photographers scrambling in the parking lot to get pictures of Ai Miyazato, the biggest golf sensation in Japan.
On the course, action was limited.
In-Bee Park, a former U.S. Junior Girls champion, struggled to keep her tee shots in the fairway, but got enough good bounces to keep her round together and post a two-day score of even par. And she finished, which was enough cause for celebration.
"I think it took us like 10 hours to play yesterday, so I think it was a lot shorter day today," she said.
Inkster put together a remarkable turnaround. After a four-putt double bogey on Thursday in the middle of her first round, she dropped six shots in a four-hole span when she returned and completed a 78.
The two-time Women's Open champion was 10 over for the tournament through nine holes of the second round when she two-putted from 12 feet for birdie on No. 1, then fired off three straight birdies, finishing with a chip-in on the fifth. She had a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 8 when the horn blew.
Lorena Ochoa and Morgan Pressel were among those who did not tee off, still at even par. Pressel was brought into the television booth for an interview and went over highlights from the day before.
"It's funny to listen to you talk about my round yesterday because I can't remember it. It was so long ago," she said. "It seems like I've just been around here forever and hoping we might hit our first tee shot today. It's going to be a marathon weekend."
And it's going to be an early wake-up for so many players.
Paula Creamer was in the 18th fairway, no more than 10 minutes from calling it a day. She was at 4 over.
"Obviously, it gets annoying after a while, but it is what it is," Creamer said. "We get pulled off for 20 minutes or so, then get back on. It's difficult. But I guess you just have to go with the flow."