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Wie opens with an 82 at U.S. Open

Michelle Wie, First Round, U.S. Open
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
"I know I'm a better player than this," Wie said.

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.(AP) Michelle Wie was in good company at the U.S. Women's Open, but in the worst way.

In a rugged start to the biggest event in women's golf, the 17-year-old from Hawaii continued her free fall Thursday by hitting only four fairways and matching her highest score ever in this championship with an 82.

"I know I'm a better player than this," Wie said.

Perhaps even more shocking was the player one shot worse - Karrie Webb, a seven-time major champion who won the U.S. Women's Open the last time it was played at Pine Needles in 2001. Webb failed to make a birdie, had only seven pars and walked off with an 83, her highest score ever on the LPGA Tour.

"I have no excuses. I'm not that kind of player," Webb said. "Do you think I had any idea I'd shoot 83? It was a terrible round, one of the worst days of my career."

Angela Park was among seven players from the early starters who broke par, leading the way with a 3-under 68. The 18-year-old rookie birdied her first three holes and was 4 under for most of the round until hitting into the pines on the tough 17th hole, pitching out and missing her 25-foot par putt.

It was the second straight major Park was atop the leaderboard after one round. She was tied for the lead at the LPGA Championship three weeks ago, and eventually finished fifth.

"Maybe this week will be different," said Park, who was born in Brazil to South Korean parents and grew up in California.

Alexis Thompson, the 12-year-old who became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history, and defending champion Annika Sorenstam were among the late starters. Both had played only a few holes when thunderstorms moved into the area, stopping play for more than three hours. Play was to resume at 6:30 p.m. EDT, meaning neither would finish their round.

Overnight rain slightly softened Pine Needles, but that only made the course longer, and the greens remains dangerous as ever because of the way the edges drop off into swales, typical of many Donald Ross designs.

And maybe it's the pressure of playing for the biggest prize that brought so many high scores from so many notable players.

Suzann Pettersen, coming off her first major at the McDonald's LPGA Championship, was 7 over after her first seven holes, but somehow managed to calm herself with enough birdies after the turn to escape with a 76.

Se Ri Pak, headed for the Hall of Fame in November, was 5 over par through 10 holes until she turned that into a 74.

At a U.S. Women's Open, that's not all bad.

And perhaps that's why Kraft Nabisco champion Morgan Pressel and Lorena Ochoa, the No. 1 player in the world still seeking her first major, were full of smiles when they walked off Pine Needles at even-par 71.

"I'm doing good so far," Ochoa said. "Playing in a U.S. Open, it's always good to be around par."

She got there in the most peculiar fashion.

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