Liselotte Neumann of Sweden, seeking to become the second straight European to make the U.S. Women's Open her first American victory, took a two-stroke lead Thursday by posting the lowest first-round score in the tournament's 43-year history.
Neumann, who joined the LPGA Tour this year after three successful years playing in Europe, shot a 4-under-par 67 on the rain-soaked 6,232-yard Five Farms course at Baltimore Country Club in Lutherville, Md.
JoAnne Carner, who won the U.S. Women's Open in 1971 and 1976 and has finished second five times, and Sally Quinlan shot each shot a 69 and are tied for second place in the $400,000 tournament.
Patty Sheenan, Colleen Walker, Amy Benz, Vicki Furgon, Dottie Pepper-Mochrie and Shirley Furlong were three strokes off the pace at 70. Juli Inkster, Sally Little, Tammie Green, Nancy Brown, Judy Dickinson and Marlene Brodzik-Davis were at 71.
Defending champion Laura Davies, Nancy Lopez and Jan Stephenson were in a group at 72.
Play was suspended due to lightning and rain for 43 minutes in the late afternoon after Neumann had completed her round. Later, play was halted because of darkness with 15 golfers still playing. pichar
Roger Maltbie shot a 7-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead in the twice rain-delayed opening round of the $700,000 Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open at Cromwell, Conn.
Maltbie, who lost the tournament in a sudden-death playoff two years ago to Mac O'Grady and hasn't won since 1985, had just one bogey and connected on several long-range birdie putts on the rain-softened greens.
Donnie Hammond, Brad Faxon and Joey Sindelar were one stroke back after shooting 65s.
Mark Brooks, Ronnie Black, Steve Lowery, Ken Green, Jay Delsing and Clark Burroughs shot 66s, and 16 more players, including Lee Trevino and Mark Calcavecchia, were at 67.
South African Gary Player shot a 5-under-par 65 to take a three-stroke lead over Billy Casper and Canadian Senior champion Lou Garrison in the first round of the British Seniors Open at Turnberry, Scotland.