World No 2 Lydia Ko fired a bogey-free 68 to take a share of the first round lead at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open on Friday.
Beginning on the back nine, the 18-year-old picked up a stroke at the par-five 13th and added three further birdies to sit joint-top of the leaderboard alongside Suzann Pettersen.
“I kind of didn’t know what score to expect because the course is pretty tough, even without the wind,” Ko said. “You can see by the scores it’s not crazy low, but I think we were lucky with the wind not being as strong as it was the last couple of days.
“Playing over here in the Scottish Open, you can’t use the same game as you can in the States. You’re hitting different shots and I think the key to playing well here is being really creative, because you need to find the shot that will give you a high percentage.”
Pettersen got off to a flying start with four birdies in her first five holes and added picked up two more shots during her round, but lost ground by finding the bunker at the 16th and three-putting the 18th.
“I managed my game well, adjusted on a few tee shots according to the wind and gave myself a lot of looks,” the world No 7 said. “It was pretty straightforward and the course set up is very good, so it’s playable.
“It’s amazing what a difference the wind makes depending on where it comes from and how strong it is.”
Celine Herbin had set the early clubhouse lead with a three-under 69, with Kelsey MacDonald and Austria’s Christine Wolf a further stroke back.
England’s Laura Davies and Florentyna Parker, along with Welsh player Amy Boulden, began with one-under 71s to stand in a share of sixth place.
Top ranked Scot Catriona Matthew opened with a two-over 74 while fellow Solheim Cup star Charley Hull stuttered to a four-over 76 to lie just inside the projected cut line.
The event’s unique pro-am format sees 80 amateurs and celebrities tee it up alongside a limited field of world’s top golfer, with the tournament providing good links practice ahead of next week’s Women’s Open.