KOHLER, Wis. -- We’ve all had this feeling when needing to wake up really early in the morning, right? The alarm goes off, and it seems a little too light outside? The first stab of panic hits shortly after consciousness does.
“Good grief! What time is it?”
Suzann Pettersen experienced it Friday, when she apparently set her alarm about an hour later than she wanted to for her U.S. Women’s Open 8:28 a.m. tee time. She didn’t miss it, but there wasn’t time to linger over breakfast.
“I went straight to the green,” Pettersen said. “For me breakfast is kind of my most important meal. I didn't really have time. I thought it was more important to get stretched and loosened up.
“It's fine. Sometimes [being rushed] is a good thing. You don't have time to think about stuff.”
She didn’t have anything to fret about after the round, either. Her 4-under score of 68 put her at 5-under 139 overall and in the lead heading into the weekend.
On her heels are Americans Michelle Wie, who shot a 66, the lowest round at Blackwolf Run for a Women’s Open, and Cristie Kerr, who had a 1-under 71. Both of them are at 4-under 140.
Kerr won this title in 2007; Wie’s best finish in the Women’s Open is third in 2006. Pettersen tied for second behind American Paula Creamer in 2010. Pettersen has eight LPGA tour victories, including one major.
She knows how tough Blackwolf Run played for the Women’s Open 14 years ago, when she was far from here as a 17-year-old amateur in her native Norway. So she was sort of surprised that the course in 2012 has not been all that difficult for her.
“This year, there are birdies out there,” Pettersen said. “I probably shouldn't say this, because tomorrow they'll probably make it impossible. But the course is playable.”
That would be the consensus of most players after two rounds, although not all. American Morgan Pressel, after a first-round 74, had a disastrous second round. It ended with a 10 on the par-4 14th hole, after which Pressel, dealing with a thumb injury, packed up and called it a tournament. She might have called it a few other things, too.
The top of the leaderboard going into the weekend is an intriguing mix. Along with Kerr, there is another past Women’s Open champion: South Korea’s Inbee Park, the 2008 winner. Park is tied for fourth at 3-under 141 with American Vicky Hurst, and Sandra Gal, who is trying to become the first German player to win this title.
Lizette Salas, the LPGA rookie who was a co-leader after the first round, is tied for seventh at 2-under, along with Japan’s Mika Miyazato. Four players are tied for ninth at 1-under, including American teenager Lexi Thompson.
Kerr figures the United States Golf Association will be a bit more devious this weekend with pin placements, especially with some of the low scores of the first two rounds. But when asked if her greater experience as a past champ should give her an edge over some others, Kerr jokingly shrugged that off.
“I gotta take care of my own job and forget about what everybody else is doing,” she said. “It's not like football where you can tackle somebody, right? It's not like the Green Bay Packers up here.”