Mel Reid had mixed five birdies with a bogey to card a four-under 67 in foggy conditions and on a difficult layout at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, where most of the field were struggling to break par.
Although the 33-year-old Reid shares the lead with 17-year-old amateur Megha Ganne, who led the way until a bogey at the 18th knocked her back into a tie.
Starting from the ninth hole, Reid opened with back-to-back birdies and added successive gains from the 15th, before cancelling out a bogey at the 18th by picking up a shot at the par-four seventh to set the clubhouse target.
“I didn’t think that score was out there honestly,” Reid said. “I had a pretty good game plan. It’s probably the best I’ve had for a tournament. We had a game plan and stuck to it.
“If you’re in trouble, just get it out, make bogey. I think the key here is to not take many risks the first two, three days, and I didn’t do that. Very, very happy with the way we started, felt like I played very, very solid.
“Yeah, it’s obviously day one. There’s a long, long way to go, and if you don’t pay attention, this golf course can really eat you up. Just need to stay focused. Whoever wins at the end of this is going to be really tired come Sunday.”
Meanwhile, Reid, who used to regularly play practice matches with Koepka at The Floridian until her move to Jacksonville at the end of 2020, paid tribute to the former world No 1 for the advice he offered her ahead of the second women’s major of the year.