Former Arkansas golfer and world No. 1 Stacy Lewis said coming back to Rogers to play in the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship is sometimes more difficult than a major. Her first few holes on day one of the tournament proved that.
Lewis bogeyed two of her first four holes but quickly recovered with two birdies, going out an even par 36.
She got one shot back on the par-three 11th, but was unable to muster any more birdies. Lewis finished the day shooting a one-under-par 70.
“I knew if I got back under par I'd be doing pretty good today,” said Lewis. “So, I feel good I did that, but I just left a lot out there. Some things seemed off and I had a bunch of putts right on the edge of the hole. I did some good stuff but I also did some things that need to be better.”
Lewis has a lot of ground to make up in Saturday’s second round. She tees off at 8:14 a.m. First round leader Alena Sharp shot a six-under-par, 65, and is five shots ahead of Lewis.
“I hit a lot of greens today and only missed four greens,” said Sharp. “I drove it well, wasn't in the rough at all, so I got to lift, clean and place. I didn't really hit it outside of 20 feet much and made a lot of putts. It was really simple. It was fun to play and not be stressed and just relax and enjoy the day.”
Sharp has yet to win on the LPGA Tour. She tees off at 12:52 p.m. Saturday.
Michelle Wie showed no signs of a hang over after her U.S. Open win last weekend at Pinehurst No. 2.
Even though she arrived just one day before the tournament because of national TV appearances, Wie shot a five-under, 66, and is one shot off the lead.
“I’m definitely running on fumes right now,” said Wie. “I had a few loose shots coming in and it struck me on the back nine, being kind of tired, but I was just really excited to get out here and start playing again. New York was fun but it's also fun to get back to playing golf. “
Wie birdied four of her last eight holes coming in. She tees off at 8:25 a.m. on Saturday.
Mexico’s Alejandra Llanez is also five under in second place.