First round co-leader Il-Hee Lee

She cited a stronger mental approach as the key to overcoming the double bogey she took after snap hooking her ball into the root of a tree.

“I think before if I had made a mistake like that I would have given myself too hard a time and ended up on one or two under when I should have been at least five under. In situations like that the work I have been doing has definitely helped,” she said.

The 22-year-old Skarpnord equalled Brewerton’s 67 with three birdies on the front nine and two on the back. Her best finish was runner up to world No.4 Suzann Pettersen at the AIB Ladies Irish Open in July last year.

Pace, who will turn 28 later this month, was the sole leader to have played in the breezier, but warm, afternoon conditions. Her best finish on tour was a tie for fourth at the SAS Ladies Masters in Norway last year.

Lee, another talented player from the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA), was runner-up to Shin in the Woori Ladies Tournament early last year. The 20-year-old started her round at the 10th and turned in 32 before picking up two more birdies coming home.She is known as one of the dragon ladies having been born in the year of the dragon. Like many of her generation her idol is Se Ri Pak.

A further four players finished the day a shot back in joint fifth place: Spaniard Carmen Alonso, South Korean Hye Youn Kim, South African Stacy Lee Bregman and Finn Ursula Wikstrom all finished the day on 68.

Last year’s European No.1 Gwladys Nocera finished on three-under along with eight other players including Shin and Australia’s Katherine Hull. World No.9 Webb battled to a two-under 70 after torrential rain in Northern Queensland meant she had little practise in recent weeks.