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Lewis leads in suspended US Women's Open

PINEHURST, North Carolina -- American Stacy Lewis fired a bogey-free three-under 67 Thursday to grab the clubhouse lead in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open Championship, which was suspended because of severe weather.

World number one Lewis has a one-shot lead over Michelle Wie, who is alone in second at two-under 68 at the Pinehurst golf course.

Lewis, the defending Women's British Open champion, has already posted two wins this season at the North Texas LPGA Shootout and ShopRite Classic.

“Once you get one under your belt, it's contagious, you just want to win more and more,” Lewis said about winning majors.

“I just have geared my game towards majors. I love it when it's hard. I love it when you have to grind. I love it when you have to make eight-and 10-footers for par. It suits me and my game.”

The course is over 1,000 yards shorter then it was when the men's U.S. Open was held here last week.

Ryu So-Yeon, the 2011 U.S. Women's Open champ, Katherine Kirk and amateur Lee Min-Jee are the only other players under par at one-under 69.

Play was stopped Thursday with 30 players still on the course.

Eleven-year-old Lucy Li, who is the youngest qualifier in Women's Open history, finished with a 78. The 1.57 metre (5-foot-2) dynamo finished her round with 10 pars, two birdies, three bogeys, two double bogeys and a triple bogey.

“Getting to play in the U.S. Open was a lot of fun. I kind of struggled today, but it was great,” said Li. “I'm happy with how I played. I just need to get rid of the big numbers.”

Lewis missed just one green and one fairway in her first round.

“I am very happy,” she said. “It was such an easy day. I played really, really solid. I didn't put myself in too bad of spots and made a few birdies, which was nice.”

Former U.S. Women's Open winners Karrie Webb and Paula Creamer shot matching even-par 70s to share sixth place.

Taiwan's Candie Kung, Mina Harigae and Stephanie Meadow are also at even par, but will have to complete their first rounds when play resumes early Friday morning. Kung has finished 17 holes, while Harigae and Meadow are both through 16 holes.

U.S. Women's Open champions Juli Inkster, Choi Na-Yeon and Ji Eun-Hee, and Lexi Thompson are among a group of 11 players tied for 11th place at one-over 71.

Defending champion Park In-Bee stumbled to a six-over 76 during her opening round and is tied for 77th place. Park's 76 tied her worst round of the season.

Two-time winner this year Jessica Korda shot a nine-over 79.

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