Defending champion Nancy Lopez did not make a birdie, missed a 1 1/2-foot putt and took double bogey on the 14th hole and shot a "disappointing" 78 yesterday.
"Of all the years I've followed her, this is the worst I've seen her play," said her husband, Ray Knight, the former major league baseball player. "She's struggling with her putter."
Lopez, who has won this tournament three times, including last year at Kings Island, Ohio, said: "I hit the ball pretty well. I just didn't putt well. I'm definitely disappointed. I want to scream and yell but I'll wait until I get away from here. I'm hitting the ball much better than 78."
"I think it's a great course," said Hall-of-Famer Lopez, who has 42 career wins and has earned $139,851 this season. "Hopefully, there will be a lot of birdies tomorrow." Wright on Par
Pam Wright, second-year pro from Scotland, was 2 under par with five holes to go in yesterday's first round, but bogeyed her 14th hole and her final one to finish at 71.
"I bogeyed the last hole, which is disappointing," said Wright, 26, who learned golf on links courses near her home in Aberdeen. She came to the United States in 1986 and played three years at Arizona State. "It is playing pretty tough. You've got to keep the ball in the fairway. The rough is thickening up."
Wright earned $77,951 as a rookie last year and $57,458 so far this season. Mean Greens
Beth Daniel, winner of last year's Greater Washington Open on this course and victor in last week's Phar-Mor tournament, was critical of the condition of several of Bethesda's greens after opening with 71.
"The greens are very, very bumpy," said Daniel. "It looked to me like they made an effort to cut them down to be very fast, but on some they cut them down too far. On about four holes, you're putting on roots and dirt."
Lopez, who generally likes the course, said a few of the greens were "drying out."
Dean Graves, the course manager, said problem greens were 11, 13 and 15. "They're the old greens built back in the 1920s," he said. "It's a recurring problem on this golf course. Over a 10-day period we've had six inches of rain and you see the results."
Daniel, second on the money list at $370,532, also said the course is playing hard: "It's one of the toughest golf courses you'll ever play." Rough Ride for Mackall
Rockville native Michelle Mackall found Bethesda's nasty rough too many times in her opening round. The result: a disheartening 79 for the 30-year-old rookie now living in Orlando, Fla.
Mackall was 1 over through seven holes, and thought she hit a good drive on her eighth hole (the par-4 17th), but the ball found deep grass and it started a string of six bogeys.
"I thought I hit a perfect drive," said Mackall, "but it went left and into the rough." From there, she said she was near the green and hit an 8-iron from the heavy rough that found sand in front of the green. "That was the beginning of the end," she said.
She earned some consolation by rolling in a 35-foot birdie putt on her final hole. Johnson Replaces Anderson
Janet Anderson injured her toe Tuesday playing in the weekly LPGA softball game and was replaced in the field by Trish Johnson.