An ace, a 10 and only four players under par, this was round one of the U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally

We tend to put sport stars on a pedestal, they become god/goddess-like and it seems that there is very little that they can do wrong. In women's professional golf we have been waiting for a woman to really grab hold of that mantle in recent years, step forward Nelly Korda. The American has rapidly risen up the sports pages and expectations of golf fans as she has truly dominated the LPGA with six wins in eight starts this season.

Whilst we expected the World Number one to be making the headlines for all the right reasons, she became the story of the first day of the U.S. Women's Open Presented by Ally for all the wrong reasons.

What became clear was that even the best player in the world can just have a bad day and although goddess like in a fan's eyes:

Nelly Korda: "I'm human"

"I'm human. I'm going to have bad days. I played some really solid golf up to this point. Today was just a bad day. That's all I can say."

Nelly Korda plays her third shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the 2024 U.S. Women's Open Presented by Ally at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pa. on Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Nelly Korda - image credit Chris Keane/USGA

For Korda, in particular, but for many others, the 12th hole became a round ruiner. This was the American's third hole and presented with a tricky par 3, her second, third and fourth shots ended up in the water and with a further two putts, a seven-over 10 went on to the scorecard, eight-over par after three holes.

At the start of the week, the 25-year-old described it as a "beast of a golf course" which was "going to test every part of your game, even your mental game because it's a Major championship."

Never a truer word spoken and after a further five bogies and three birdies, at 10-over-par Korda is tied for 137th (out of 156) and will be hoping to make the cut rather than vying for the title on Friday.

I doubt she will take solace from it but she wasn't the only big name to struggle on the first day, she shares 137th with Brooke Henderson and Lydia Ko, with Rose Zhang only one shot better at +9. All players that would have been tipped to win this week.

Yuka Saso leads by one shot

It wasn't all doom and gloom as the players took a battering on a windy day with Lancaster Country Club's Old Course playing fast and firm.

2021 U.S. Women's Open Champion Yuka Saso holds a one shot lead at two-under-par. Out in the afternoon groups - five birdies, three bogeys, plus a par of the hellish 12th made for better scorecard reading.

“I actually don't know,” said Saso on what worked best for her around Lancaster Country Club. “I made really good putts. I think I was more lucky than playing good. I think I had a few very long par putts in the first few holes, as well. I think I was just very lucky, and I was able to have fun out there with Hannah (Green) and Brooke (Henderson).”

2020 AIG Women's Open Champion Sophia Popov claimed the Major's 34th hole-in-one with an ace on the par 3 8th hole.

Only four players under par

As for the chasing pack. American Andrea Lee, Thailand’s Wichanee Meechai and French amateur Adela Cernousek were the only other players to finish in the 60s at one-under-par. Lee was one of 10 players to birdie 12 and she was one of only five players to close out her round with a birdie on the par-4 18th hole. 

There are 10 players at even and in a tie for fifth, including the youngest player in the field, 15-year-old Asterisk Talley who won the 9th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball title with her playing partner Sarah Lim a couple of weeks ago and 2022 U.S. Women’s Open champion Minjee Lee.

It was a brutal opening day for many on Thursday at the U.S. Women's Open and by the end of it, it was shown that it's not just Korda who is human. At times it was a hard watch and some might argue that it isn't much fun to see players three putting and making doubles, triples or worse. It remains to be seen how well the players manage Firday's set up and with a cut line looking around four-over-par, as it stands, there will be some big name players not teeing it up this weekend.

View the full 2024 U.S. Women's Open Presented by Ally leaderboard here.

Watch live coverage from Day two for free in the UK via Sky Sports Golf YouTube from 5pm BST

Inspired by the second women's Major of the season? Why not come and watch the best players in the world at the AIG Women's Open this summer at St Andrews. Ticket prices start from £20.