The initial field of 64 players has been cut in half after the opening day of the women's match play golf event at Hamilton Farm, New Jersey.

It was hot and humid and sticky. But the threatened thunderstorms held off. And 32 competitors will go into round two of this richest event in women's golf, that bit closer to the $500,000 first prize from sponsors, HSBC.

But the U.S. Women's open champion Birdie Lee of South Korea will not be among them. She was defeated by Sweden's Sophie Gustafson, while world number one Annika Sorenstam of Sweden had to wait until late before beating 68th ranked Joanne Morely of England.

There were other sagas up and down the field. And the youngest player, 18-year-old American Paula Cramer, sailed through against Maria Hjorth of Sweden.