Jane Geddes and Patty Sheehan posted the best first-round scores in U.S. Women's Open history to share the lead with six-under-par 66s yesterday in Duluth, Ga.
The two held a two-shot lead over Nancy Lopez, who doesn't include this nation's national title among her 42 career victories.
Play on the 6,298-yard Riverside Course of the Atlanta Athletic Club was suspended twice by rain and lightning, the last time at 7:40 p.m. Thirty golfers were still on the course when play was suspended.
The second round was to begin as scheduled at 7 a.m. today, with the 30 players picking up where they left off at 8:30 a.m. to complete the opening round.
The biggest threat among the non-finishers came from Caroline Keggi, who was four under with one hole to play.
Geddes, the 1986 Open champion, finished her bogey-free round late in the day after a 65-minute delay because of a thunderstorm.
Sheehan, a three-time winner and the leading money-winner on the LPGA Tour this year, had eight birdies and two bogeys, finishing before the midafternoon delay.
The previous best first round was a 67 by Liselotte Neumann in 1988 and matched by defending champion Betsy King last year.
"This golf course lends itself to making more birdies than I've ever seen at the U.S. Open," Sheehan said.
"I really did not expect the course to be that scoreable," Geddes said. "Basically I just played a real solid round."
Bank of Boston Classic:
In Sutton, Mass., Mike Smith, back on the PGA Tour after two years in Europe, splashed to a six-under-par 65 for a two-stroke lead after a rain-drenched opening round.
Smith, who regained his card with a 47th-place finish in the PGA qualifying school last fall, had nine birdies, three bogeys and six pars in what he called "the best round I've ever had in the rain."
Scott Verplank and Bill Glasson were tied for second.
Gordon Brand Jr. shot a 67 -- 132 but his lead shrank to two strokes after two rounds when Ian Woosnam of Wales fired a nine-under 62 in Gleneagles, Scotland.
Woosnam sank eagle putts of 40 yards on the sixth hole and 25 feet on the 18th and had six birdies.