Webb and Alex at the top

Karrie Webb and Marina Alex were the early leaders at the US Women’s Open when inclement weather brought a premature end to play at the Lancaster Country Club.

The pair carded four-under par rounds of 66 to take the clubhouse lead before a tornado warning and heavy rain saw 56 players forced off the course before they had completed their opening rounds.

“My game made it a little bit easier for me,” Webb told lpga.com.

“I played very well, I didn’t miss a fairway. When you play like that, you know, it’s not easy but it’s less stressful than I could have made it…I hit the first 17 greens, and gave myself a lot of looks. And on the front nine, I wouldn’t have added up to 20 feet with the four birdies I made.”

South Korea’s Amy Yang was one shot back, with 2012 winner Choi Na-yeon and American Jane Park also on three-under, having completed 15 and 12 holes respectively.

A group of eight players which includes world number one Inbee Park and American Morgan Pressel find themselves at two-under. Park still has four holes of her round to complete.

Seven-time major winner Webb is looking for her first major title in nine years, and began her quest for victory in solid fashion. The Australian found every fairway and 17 out of 18 greens.

Having begun on the 10th tee, Webb rolled out nine consecutive pars before a birdie run on her closing nine saw her rise to four-under.

Alex, who has never led an LPGA round, produced five birdies in her round of 66, with a bogey at the 18th her lone blemish of the day.

Park birdied two of her last three holes to move towards the top of the leaderboard, with the South Korean in a strong position with four holes still to play.

Last year’s runner-up, Stacey Lewis is at one-under after a round of 69, while world number two Lydia Ko made a solid yet unspectacular start to her bid for a first major title, firing an opening 70.

Defending champion Michelle Wie is currently in a tie for 62nd after carding a two-over 72. 

“Really close, just a couple of shots here and there,” said the 25-year-old.

“I couldn’t get my irons as close as I wanted to. The holes were…to give yourself a good position, you have to get it close and make a birdie. Just couldn’t get that going today. Made a lot of good par saves kind of a mediocre round, but at the same time just a lot of good feelings, and I’m excited about the rest of the tournament.”