NORMAN — Home-course knowledge proved to be valuable Monday. The thunderstorm that blew in early Monday morning also shifted the wind from south to north at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club
The overwhelming majority of the field in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links hadn’t arrived at the course until Saturday to begin playing practice rounds, and hadn’t played the course with the wind blowing out of any direction but the south.
“It’s a very good thing to know how to play the golf course in those conditions,” said Oklahoma’s Anne-Catherine Tanguay, who shot an opening-round 69. “I think a north wind makes the course harder because the finishing holes on both sides are harder.”
Of course, Tanguay has played the course hundreds of times.
Mariel Galdiano, who opened with a 2-under 70, actually thought the wind shift helped the field.
“I think it made it a little easier,” she said.
Casey Danielson, who is tied with Tanguay at 3-under, didn’t get to play the course in anything but a south wind. However, she has her sister, Lindsay, caddying for her. Lindsay played college golf at Wisconsin and finished tied for 15th in the 2011 Susie Maxwell Berning Classic at the OU course.
“It helps to have her on the bag because she knows were to land it and where to hit the drives,” Danielson said.
Room to grow: The youngest player in the field is 10-year-old Lucy Li, from Redwood City, Calif. She is the second-youngest player in the tournament’s history.
Li made a strong showing Monday with an opening-round 77, which left her in a tie for 70th. The round could have been better, but Li was assessed a two-stroke penalty for tapping down a spike mark on the 12th green.