Heat wins out at Women's Open

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OAKMONT, Pa. --- Temperatures were in the 90s. Michelle Wie was in the 80s. On a demanding day when tough old Oakmont Country Club illustrated again that playing par golf can be an achievement, only Brittany Lang was in the 60s.

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Leader Brittany Lang was the only player to break 70 during a sweltering opening round at the U.S. Women's Open. She shot 2-under-par 69.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Leader Brittany Lang was the only player to break 70 during a sweltering opening round at the U.S. Women's Open. She shot 2-under-par 69.

Lang withstood Oakmont's slick, sun-browned greens and the unrelenting heat to shoot 2-under-par 69 on Thursday and take a one-shot lead over 2008 champion Inbee Park, amateur Kelli Shean and three others in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open.

"You said it couldn't be done, but on any golf course you can shoot a low number," Lang said. "If you're hitting the ball good, you can for sure shoot a low score out here. But if you're not on your game you can shoot a big one."

Shean, a South Africa native who was pushed to become a world-class golfer by idol Ernie Els, and South Korea's Park were joined at 70 by two other Korean golfers, M.J. Hur and Amy Yang.

Sakura Yokomine, of Japan, and Scotland's Mhairi McKay, who teed off at 7 a.m. EDT as part of the first threesome on the course, were alone at even-par 71.

Cristie Kerr, America's first world No. 1-ranked golfer following her monumental 12-shot win at the LPGA Championship two weeks ago, was among a more-than-crowded group of 14 at 1-over 72.

For one-time wunderkind Wie , it was a day of misery. She shot 82.

Wie, the world No. 10-ranked golfer and the LPGA Tour's longest driver, didn't alter her aggressive style on a course that demands patience and persistence. She paid the price with her worst round since an 84 at the Evian Masters in 2007.

Even after her ill-conceived game plan didn't work, Wie still talked of "going for birdies" today on a course where pars often are difficult to achieve.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: In Clarksburg, Ontario, Canada, former UCLA golfer Kevin Chappell shot 11-under-par 61 to take the first-round lead in the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic.

The tournament is being played at two courses -- the par 71 Raven Golf Club at Lora Bay and the par 71 Georgian Bay Club.

Chappell, who shot 8-under 28 on the back nine at Raven Golf Club, has a two-shot lead over James Hahn (9-under 62 at Raven Golf Club) and Zack Miller (9-under 63 at Georgian Bay).

Aiken's Kevin Kisner and Augusta's Emmett Turner had 4-under 68s at Raven Golf Club and North Augusta's Scott Brown shot 2-under 69 at Georgian Bay.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Luss, Scotland, Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke leads the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond after 6-under-par 65.

He is one shot ahead of England's Graeme Storm, Ireland's Damien McGrane and Italian Edoardo Molinari.

Graeme McDowell, returning to European Tour life three weeks after his U.S. Open Championship triumph, had 71, as did Masters Tournament champion Phil Mickelson.

Former Augusta State golfers Oliver Wilson and Jamie Elson shot 72s.

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