Lang leads after the first round
But this outright lead is far more legit. As a professional golfer now (she was an amateur at Cherry Hills), she faces the burdens of living up to a title, and she's broken 70 at Oakmont, which all of us (ie, the scribes in the media center) thought was impossible.
"You said it couldn't be done," said Lang. "You can shoot a low number on any golf course, there's no question about. If you just know where to hit it, if you're on your game hitting the ball well, you're gonna hit fairways, you're gonna hit greens, and you're gonna make pars."
One of her three bogeys came at No. 2, the short par-4 that, by my own calculations, played as the toughest all day. So she's decided to play the hole even more conservatively tomorrow (she'll use her 5-iron instead of a 4-iron), and she'll stick with her 5-iron/gap-wedge combo on Oakmont's other short par-4, No. 17.
"I just don't see the advantage if you hit driver into those bunkers," said Lang. "With my wedge game, if I'm the middle of the fairway with a sand wedge, I'd rather be there than one of the huge bunkers. My wedge game is very good."
Ah, smart thinking. That's precisely what a U.S Open Champion needs.
(Photo provided by the USGA)