Marianne Skarpnord fired a bogey-free 68 on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in the Moroccan capital Rabat early on Thursday to set the pace in the Lalla Meryem Cup.

Playing through several heavy downpours, the Norwegian Olympic hopeful birdied the par-4 13th and 18th before carding another pair of birdies on the long second and sixth before the sun burst through the clouds by lunchtime.

Swiss amateur Albane Valenzuela was three-under-par with as many holes to play.