Retiring golfer Ai Miyazato remained calm under pressure and seemed to enjoy every hole as she said she would, carding an opening-round even-par 72 on the first day of the U.S. Women's Open on Thursday.
Harukyo Nomura went round in 71 with four birdies and three bogeys to finish highest among the nine Japanese competitors in the 72-hole event at the Trump National Golf Club. China's Feng Shanshan holds the clubhouse lead after a bogey-free 66.
Play was suspended due to darkness with 39 of 156 golfers unable to complete their rounds.
Miyazato got off to a bogey start on the 10th hole and finally broke into a smile when she birdied the par-5 18th, making the turn at even par.
The 32-year-old Okinawa native struggled with the speed of the greens and bogeyed again at the par-4 fifth, but capped her round by rolling in a 16-footer for birdie.
"My shots were good and I made a lot of good calls on my club selection," said Miyazato, whose best showing in the U.S. Women's Open is sixth place in 2009 and 2011.
"I get stressed when my long game is good but I miss my short putts, so controlling that balance will be the key," she said.
Meanwhile, Nomura finds herself among 18 golfers tied for 29th.
"My long shots have improved a lot from last week. But it's too bad I hit my iron shots too long and that led to bogeys," said Nomura.
"I made a few mistakes reading the wind too. But I adjusted well on the back nine, so I hope I can keep this up."
Elsewhere for Japan in the U.S. Women's Open, one of five major championships on the U.S. LPGA Tour, Sakura Yokomine and Ai Suzuki shot 74s, Haruka Morita shot a 75 and Ayaka Watanabe 76.