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As LPGA stars struggle, younger players shine

2024 U.S. Women's Open

LANCASTER, Pa. – Asterisk Talley arrived at her first U.S. Women’s Open Championship a little later than most. The 15-year-old got her first look at Lancaster Country Club on Tuesday and like everyone else, thought it was tough.

“When I was on the first hole, I was just like, these greens are stupid,” said Talley with a wide smile full of braces. “It’s just so hard. The pins they had on the practice rounds, I was like, if they put the pins here, I’m going to start crying.

“I was on the verge on a couple holes with the way I was playing. But I’m not mad with where the pins were today, the way I played the course, so I feel like I’m happy with how I did.”

Talley, whose first name means “little star” in Greek, lit up the microphone on Thursday afternoon after she posted an even-par 70 in the first round that included a triple-bogey. She held a share of the lead for some time and was well aware.

“I look at the leaderboard all the time,” said Talley, who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball earlier this month. “I feel like some people get scared to look at it, but I don’t really do that.”

2024 U.S. Women's Open

Adela Cernousek plays her shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally at Lancaster Country Club on May 30, 2024 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

While many of the game’s biggest stars struggled mightily in the opening round of the 79th U.S. Women’s Open, a number of amateurs shined. Recent NCAA champion Adela Cernousek of France is tied for second, a shot off the lead, after carding a 1-under 69 while reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Megan Schofill shot 70 to take a share of fifth.

Yuka Saso shot 68 to lead at 2 under, a shot ahead of Cernousek as well as Andrea Lee and Wichanee Meechai. Those are the only four players in red numbers after 36 holes. There are four amateurs near the top of the leaderboard, including Catherine Park.

“I was very nervous on the first tee,” said Texas A&M’s Cernousek. “First round of a major, so very nervous.”

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In a way, the round must have felt like it started all over again on the par-3 12th after Cernousek’s group had to wait 45 minutes after World No. 1 Nelly Korda made a 10 on the challenging par 3.

“It’s just going to be about who does hard better,” Texas A&M coach Gerrod Chadwell told her.

Cernousek was in between clubs on…


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