U.S. Women's Open: Thursday Notable and Quotable July 9, 2015 | Lancaster, Pa. By Ron Driscoll, USGA

Marina Alex, who enters Friday tied for the lead after an opening-round 66, has friend and former tour pro Meaghan Francella serving as her caddie. (USGA/Fred Vuich)

Quotable: “When I was recruited [to Michigan State], I wasn’t one of the best players in the country. I was the best player in my town, and that was about it. I knew that I had it in me. I have people that believe in me and I knew I could get to this stage.” – Elizabeth Nagel, 23, after a 2-under-par 68 in her first-ever U.S. Open round

Former LPGA Tour player Meaghan Francella, of Port Chester, N.Y., is the caddie for friend and co-leader Marina Alex, of Wayne, N.J. They started working together full-time at the Kingsmill Championship in May, after two tournaments in 2014. Alex missed the cut in their first three events of 2015, but recorded a season-best tie for ninth two weeks ago in Arkansas.

Crowdsourcing: “I love the crowd. You can get a feel of how you hit the shot based on the crowd. It definitely gives me some motivation to hit good shots and get some good feedback.” – Amateur Megan Khang, 17, who briefly led at 4 under before finishing with a 1-over 71

Karrie Webb’s opening-round 66 is her first round in the 60s in the U.S. Women’s Open since the final round of 2001, a span of 47 rounds played. The 2000 and 2001 champion from Australia was the only player to hit all 14 fairways in Thursday’s opening round.

There are 23 amateurs in the field this week. Emma Talley, the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, opened with an even-par 70, while Muni He, of the People’s Republic of China, was 2 under through 14 holes when play was suspended. Two other amateurs (Regina Plasencia and Mariel Galdiano) were at even par through 12 holes.

Karrie Webb has won the most major championships (7) of any player in the field. Inbee Park is second with six, including the recent KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Webb’s last major victory was the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

“To think I was here as a 13-year-old. It was such a special experience for me to be here among players that I looked up to and wanted to emulate for so long. So it’s crazy to think that I’m the baby-sitter now; everyone was baby-sitting me back in the day.” – Morgan Pressel, 27, after a 2-under 68 in her 13th Women’s Open start

With 55 players still to complete Round 1 after a suspension due to weather, the 18th hole was playing as the most difficult at exactly one-half stroke over par (4.50). The 128 players who completed the uphill, 422-yard hole made 6 birdies, 58 pars, 58 bogeys and 6 double bogeys.

Ron Driscoll is the manager of editorial services for the USGA. Email him at rdriscoll@usga.org.

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