Second-year Professional Lauren Stephenson of the United States set the mark early on the opening day with a 6-under 66.

Australia's Breanna Gill, World No.35, Ayean Cho, and Finland's Noora Komulainen matched the morning rounds of Korean Min A Yoon, and Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh, to share second place at five under par.

In seventh place is Swede Lina Boqvist and the rising Irish star Leona Maguire, with another seven players sharing ninth at three-under.


It is the surprise packet Stephenson from South Carolina, however, who they are all chasing.

"I started off with a birdie on my second hole (the 10th) and then just continued that and had three birdies in a row," Stephenson said post-round. "Those holes are really scoreable."

Stephenson added the key was to have a few birdies under her belt before the tough part of the course began.

"The back nine is obviously really important, and it was great going into some of the harder holes, knowing that I already had a couple of birdies.

"There's a lot of good par fives, and a lot of birdie chances, but there are also a lot of tough holes where you have to scramble for par."

With seven birdies and one bogey Stephenson said the only disappointment of her day was missing a short putt at the 16th, her eighth of the day.

"Unfortunately my bogey was from a missed short, short putt," she said.

"But I made a lot of really good putts on the other holes so I can't be too upset."