SYDNEY (AP) — Teenage amateur Rachel Lee was almost late to the first tee but finished the first round of the Australian Open in a tie for the lead with American Jenny Shin.
The 16-year-old Lee had to hurry to start her round Thursday after getting the times confused, and she carried momentum to a 6-under 67 at The Lakes Golf Club in a tournament that has men’s and women’s fields and a two-venue format.
“I was putting and my coach says, ‘Rachel, you’re on the tee,’” Lee, who attends a Sydney high school, explained. “So I just ran out there. I’ve learned my lesson.”
Jenny Shin was also 6 under after a 66 at The Australian Golf Club. The pair had a one shot lead over two-time major winner Jiyai Shin of South Korea.
Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa and local Stephanie Kyriacou were in fourth place at 4 under.
Cameron Davis led the men’s field by a stroke at 9 under after an opening 63 at The Lakes. The 2017 champion had an eagle at the par-5 14th and seven birdies to finish one ahead of American Patrick Rodgers.
Scotland’s Connor Syme was equal third at 7 under after an opening 64 at The Australian.
All but two of the leading 10 players in the men’s field had their first rounds at The Lakes, including Min Woo Lee, who was 5-under just four days after winning the Australian PGA Championship title in Brisbane last Sunday.
His older sister, two-time major winner Minjee Lee, was in a three-way tie for sixth in the women’s field at 3 under.
Cameron Smith, who missed the cut in his attempted title defense at the Australian PGA last week, was in a group of 20 players at 1 under after opening with a 71 at The Lakes.
“There’s definitely something to build on there,” he said.
Adam Scott had two birdies and two bogeys in an opening, even-par 71 at The Australian and was among a big group of players nine shots off the pace.