Elaine Crosby leads inaugural US Senior Women's Open

Trish Johnson, of England, watches her tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Nancy Lopez, left, greets JoAnne Carner during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Tammie Green Parker lines up her putt on the first hole during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Jean Bartholomew works with her caddie before putting on the first green during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
JoAnne Carner, left, laughs with Sandra Palmer on the first tee during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Jane Blalock watches her tee shot on second hole during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Martha Nause retrieves her ball from the cup on the first hole during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Sally Little watches her approach shot to the first green during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Helen Alfredsson, of Sweden, tees off on the first hole during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Cindy McConnell tees off on the first hole during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Laura Carson reacts to her tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Nancy Lopez, left, greets Hollis Stacy during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Hollis Stacy tees off on the first hole during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)
Nancy Lopez announces golfers during the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open golf tournament in Wheaton, Ill., Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Daniel White/Daily Herald via AP)

WHEATON, Ill. — Considering the historical importance for women's golf, Elaine Crosby realized this round carried a good deal of significance.

Crosby shot a 3-under-par 70 Thursday at Chicago Golf Club for the lead after one round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open.

"It's history for women's golf," said Crosby, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour. "We've worked really hard."

A winner of two tournaments in 17 LPGA seasons, the 60-year-old Crosby owns a one-shot advantage over England's Trish Johnson, Laura Davies and Sweden's Liselotte Neumann heading into Friday's second round.

Unlike the men, women professional golfers haven't enjoyed an expansive senior tour with only a handful of events held on The Legends Tour.

So the chance to play a major USGA event for the first time has been important to the sport's future.

"I mean, just being here, it's just an amazing feeling," Neumann said

Crosby had to qualify to play in the first senior open and on Thursday made the most of it.

She started on the back nine with a 3-under-par 34 and made just one bogey on the day at one of the oldest 18-hole courses in the country. Crosby called a par save on her first hole a key to her round, and from there a smart approach made the difference as firm, dry fairways made it possible for shorter hitters to excel.

"I'm not a long hitter necessarily," Crosby said. "I'm certainly not hitting it with Trish Johnson."

The winner of three LPGA titles and 19 Ladies European Tour titles, Johnson also won the first Senior LPGA Championship in 2017. She birdied four of the par 5s on Thursday.

"It's a U.S. Open," Johnson said. "My sort of pressure, I suppose for me, is that I won the first Senior LPGA Championship. So I'm the only one that can win them both at the same time, the first one. So that would be quite something."

Davies needed an eagle on 18 to finish within a shot of the lead.

Helen Alfredsson shot a 72, while Juli Inkster, Jean Bartholomew, Marilyn Lovander and Alicia Dibos matched par.

The first 72-hole USGA championship for women 50 and older began with a tee shot by the oldest player, JoAnne Carner. The 79-year-old proceeded to shoot her age and has set a goal of making the 36-hole cut.

Players must walk the 72-hole tournament, and Johnson said endurance will be a key to who eventually wins.

"It's four rounds walking, which is not something you do on The Legends Tour," Johnson said. "It's hot, and it's going to get hotter, so you might be — it might be about stamina to be honest."

Must Read

Feds: Plastic gun from 3-D printer seized at...

Aug 10, 2016

An official says airport screening agents confiscated a plastic handgun produced with a 3-D printer...

Clinton: Trump's words could have "tremendous...

Aug 10, 2016

Hillary Clinton says Trump's words could have "tremendous consequences," calls on Republicans to...

Former Somali refugee poised to win office in...

Aug 10, 2016

A former refugee is poised to become the country's first Somali-American legislator after winning a...

Prince Fielder emotional as he ends career after...

Aug 11, 2016

Prince Fielder says it will be tough not be able to play again after having to walk away from the...

US: 45,000 Islamic State fighters taken off...

Aug 11, 2016

A top U.S. commander says that the military campaigns against the Islamic State group in Iraq and...

Sign up now!

About Us

In The Headline sought to bring professionalism back into journalism, bringing you only the most exclusive and the most impactive news from all over the globe.

Contact us: sales[at]intheheadline.com