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Anderson shares U.S. Women's Open lead in suspended first round

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- Instead of teeing it up when she comes back to the Broadmoor, Cristie Kerr's next shot at the U.S. Women's Open will be a blast out of the bunker on the front, right side of the seventh green.

When she takes the difficult shot she will be tied for the lead with Amy Anderson of NDSU, the 2008 Birchmont women's champ and the 2007 runner-up. Both enter today's completion of the first round at 2-under par.

A quirky day of thunder and lightning -- but only spits of rain -- suspended play Thursday with 25 players making it through the first round. It was a bad break on the opening day of the toughest test in golf -- balky weather that figures to turn one of the most difficult weeks on the schedule into an even bigger grind.

The rain halted a mini streak for Kerr, who had made two straight birdies to get into a tie for the lead with Anderson. After her second birdie, Kerr, who opened her round on the back, teed off into the right rough on No. 7, then hit her approach into the sand. That's when the siren sounded and the players headed to the clubhouse.

Anderson will join Kerr in sleeping on the lead.

The second-team All-American from North Dakota State hit her approach on the par-5 ninth to tap-in range for her second birdie of the day. That put her at 2 under.

"The first-day leader," she said. "That's way more than I could have imagined."

She needs to hold onto the lead for six more holes to make it official.

Anderson opened her day with four pars. Her first birdie came on the 426-yard par-4 fifth hole and she finished her front side with the birdie on No. 9.

Anderson carded three pars on the back and was playing No. 13 when play was suspended.

Her average drive Thursday was 271 yards and she hit eight of nine fairways and nine of 12 greens in regulation and had 19 putts in her 12 holes.

After the USGA halted play Thursday for 2.5 hours, with the thunder still rumbling and the radar blinking red, officials called play. There were 75 players on the course and 66 who hadn't hit a shot.

That means nearly half the field, including defending champion Paula Creamer and Yani Tseng, trying to complete her career Grand Slam, could face 72 holes in three days.

The Broadmoor is the first U.S. Women's Open course to measure more than 7,000 yards -- quite a haul, even at 6,700 feet in altitude.

The best score posted among the 25 players who had finished belonged to Kristy McPherson, who shot 2-over 73. That was one shot ahead of Aree Song and seven-time major winner Juli Inkster.

Typical of the U.S. Open, rounds were averaging more than five hours. Some of the players were surprised the USGA didn't wait a little longer before calling play, but the threat of rain and lightning never really abated. They'll need perfect weather the rest of the week to close out this tournament on Sunday.