England’s Melissa Reid

She explained: “I hit a great drive off 18 and then we had I think 212 to the pin but it was howling into wind. I just said, you know, “What’s the carry to get over the water”, to (my caddie) Paul. He said “You’ll be fine; rip it through and you’ll get there.” I hit probably one of the best three-woods I’ve ever hit and just ended up perfect.

“I started off really bad actually. I couldn’t get anything going. The first two par fives you should really do something and then, knocked it in close on the sixth. I had like a six foot eagle putt and three whacked it. I was pretty mad with myself but managed to birdie the next. I bounced back from it but I stayed very, very patient today.

“I hit a really good tee shot off nine. It was probably one of the best tee shots I’ve hit all day. You just get a feeling with the swing and then I started to hit it well after that really. I made a good birdie on nine and gave myself chances from then in.

“I think if anything it holds me back because I’m so desperate to win. I mean, even this morning, I was so excited about playing. I want to play the best golf I can.”

Australian Karen Lunn, the 1993 Women’s British Open champion, remained in the hunt in third place after a 69 which took her to 10-under-par. Sweden’s Emma Zackrisson (70), Norway’s Lill Kristin Saether (70) and Nicole Gergely (72) share fourth on eight-under with Denmark’s Lisa Holm Sorensen (68), England’s Georgina Simpson (71) and Finland’s Jenni Kuosa (75) on seven-under-par.