Second year Ladies European Tour member Kelsey MacDonald was leading the home charge as she set the pace with a two under par 70 in the first group out on Friday morning at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

The 24-year-old from Nairn bogeyed the third but quickly recovered with an eagle and a birdie at the fourth and fifth holes respectively.

She then came home in level par with two birdies against two bogeys on the back nine at Dundonald Links.

She said: “I was pretty blessed with the weather this morning. It was quite calm for me teeing off. The wind picked up towards the end and you could feel it, especially on 16 which is a pretty tough hole at the back. I kept hitting fairways, stuck it pretty close and gave myself chances. I’m a sponsor’s invite this week so I’d like to thank Aberdeen Asset Management for having me.

“When there are people that have significance in your life watching, that’s great, because they don’t get to watch me play because I’m playing all over the world. The fact they can come here and watch me play on home turf is great.”

MacDonald has missed five cuts from as many starts so far this year but hopes for a fresh start now that she has recovered from a back injury sustained late in 2014.

“I’ve just been trying to get myself fit and healthy and with the way the schedule has worked, it’s been stop start, which hasn’t favoured me because I want to keep playing,” she said.

She hopes to qualify for next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open either by winning the tournament or as one of the leading three players not yet exempt for the championship.

“I’ll be going to Final Qualifying on Monday at Irvine. We played Home Internationals there. There’s an opportunity here this week so a lot to play for,” she said.