A back nine birdie blitz from Hall of Famer Karrie Webb helped her surge into a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Ladies Scottish Open.
The seven-time major winner reached the turn in one-under-par but roared up the leaderboard with five birdies in a row from the 11th to 15th holes, tying early clubhouse leader Cristie Kerr before a birdie at the last edged her one clear.
Webb, 42, hasn’t tasted victory since March 2014 – the longest win drought of her professional career – and was delighted with her start at Dundonald Links.
“When we were warming up and on our first few holes, it was really cold and really windy,” said Webb. “I looked at the scoreboard and saw that Cristie shot six-under and I was like, ‘What course did she play today’.
“I hung in there through the front nine and made a nice birdie on nine to turn at one-under and then I just really started swinging at it well and hitting it quite close. I had some good birdie chances and made the most of them.”
Two-time major winner Kerr faced the worst of the conditions and had packed well for the Scottish summer, spending the majority of her round with earmuffs on en route to a bogey-free 66.
“I’m very pleased with the score,” said Kerr. “I just controlled my ball really well out there with the crosswinds and trajectory, I hit the ball in the right areas and made some putts.
“I think this is one of my top rounds over here but you can never take anything for granted. I’m not going to get too high about this round. I’m going to enjoy today and tomorrow is going to be another tough day.”
To highlight how good Webb and Kerr’s rounds were, only 25 of the 156-strong field broke par with the chasing pack – including Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park – four and three strokes behind respectively.
Michele Thomson and Kylie Henry are the leading Scots after day one and are eight strokes behind leader Webb on one-over-par. Elsewhere, Catriona Matthew shot two-over-par, Carly Booth went round in three-over-par, Sally Watson and Pamela Pretswell are seven-over-par, Gemma Dryburgh and Kelsey MacDonald are eight-over-par and Vikki Laing shot 11-over-par.