LPGA: NCAA champ Adela Cernousek wowed by U.S. Women’s Open start

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French amateur Adela Cernousek couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

As the best players in women’s golf struggled to make pars on Thursday at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club, Cernousek hovered around the top of the U.S. Women’s Open leaderboard all morning.

“Yeah, I was looking at the leaderboards,” Cernousek said of her round. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ I was watching every leaderboard on the course.”

Her 1-under-par 69 gave her a share of the clubhouse lead halfway through the first round of the prestigious major championship. Andrea Lee and Thailand’s Wichanee Meechai were the only other players to shoot 69 in the morning wave.

Cernousek has been on the heater of her career. In mid-May, she secured her berth in the U.S. Women’s Open by winning her qualifier in Pearland, Texas. Then came the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship, where, representing Texas A&M, she won by three strokes.

It was the first tournament win of her collegiate career, and she managed to carry that momentum to Lancaster, where she described her week as like a dream.

“It’s one of the biggest tournaments that there is in golf. I can’t even believe I’m playing here this week, actually,” Cernousek said. “It’s one of the most important tournaments out there for me. It’s super fun to be able to be here.”

After teeing off Thursday on the 10th hole and carding a bogey and a birdie on her first nine, Cernousek wiped out a bogey at No. 2 by making consecutive birdies at Nos. 3 and 4. The latter, a downhill, right-to-left putt, put her in red figures for good.

Cernousek played practice rounds with Rose Zhang and major winner Celine Boutier earlier in the week. She said it was her first time meeting Boutier, a fellow Frenchwoman.

“It was really cool to be able to play with them and kind of compare my game but without really paying attention because I have to focus on myself,” Cernousek said.

“Yeah, it’s really cool to be able to play with players like this.”

–Field Level Media

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