Sherri Steinhauer recorded six birdies and one bogey en route to an opening-round, five-under-par 65 to grab a share of a two-shot, first-round lead with Sherri Turner at the $850,000 Philips Invitational Honoring Harvey Penick at the Onion Creek Club. Turner, inspired by a lesson on Wednesday, recorded seven birdies and two bogeys en route to her 65 (-5).
The former Rolex Player of the Year, Turner, and Steinhauer hold a two-shot lead over Michele Redman and Texas natives Cindy Figg-Currier and Wendy Ward heading into second-round action.
"I played very well," said Steinhauer. "My driver wasn't as good as I'd like it to have been, but I made up for it with a few good putts. I played here back in my college days. I used to love coming out here to play. I feel like I'm a little more familiar with this course."
A group of 10 players that includes Laura Davies, Meg Mallon and Charlotta Sorenstam posted two-under-par 68s at the par-70 course and stand three strokes back heading into second-round action.
Steinhauer began with a birdie on the par-4 12th hole, her third hole, after sinking a 12-foot putt and went on to record a bogey on the 14th hole and birdies on holes 17 and 18 to make the turn at two-under-par. Steinhauer birdied the par-5 first hole, her 10th hole, to get to three-under-par and also carded birdies on the fifth and ninth holes to finish at five-under-par.
"I finished with the best drive of the day on number nine," said Steinhauer. "I felt good about my irons today. The best part today was my putting. The greens were a little tricky and I was extremely pleased with my putting today."
Turner broke out early, recording birdies on the first three holes to get to three-under-par before bogeying the par-4 fourth hole to return to two-under-par. Turner followed with a string of seven consecutive pars on holes five through 11 before going to three-under-par with a birdie on the par-4 12th hole.
"I got off to a really good start today with three birdies," said Turner. "Even after the bogey on the fourth hole, I remained calm and knew I could make a few more birdies. I knew I'd have some opportunities."
As result of a strong 1999 season, Turner entered the 2000 season with a great deal of confidence. However, after a poor showing at last week's Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez in Atlanta, where she missed the cut, her confidence was gone and she knew she needed a some help with her swing.
"I knew I needed a quick lesson, and I worked with Rosie Bartlett on Wednesday," said Turner. "She's an LPGA teaching pro from Dallas. It took about two swings. I worked on the arch in my back, then I was hitting the ball better."
The three-time LPGA champion went to four-under-par with a birdie on the 15th hole before recording a bogey on the 16th hole. She finished the day the same way she started it, on a hot streak, with birdies on the par-3 17th hole and the par-5 18th hole to finish at five-under-par.
Austin, Texas, residents Figg-Currier and Ward join Redman in a three-way tie for third at three-under-par 67. Defending champion Akiko Fukushima carded a one-under-par 69 and stands four strokes off the lead with a group of nine other players.