Wales’ Becky Brewerton

Brewerton, whose first round included five birdies and an eagle, went into the English Open in fine form having starred at the Catalonia Ladies’ Masters in June, where she finished as joint runner-up.

She currently stands in contention of winning a place in The Solheim Cup, arguably the greatest tournament in women’s professional golf. The matchplay event takes place in September and pits Europe’s finest female golfers against their American counterparts – and Becky is desperate to do
her country proud and play for Europe.

“Everyone’s fighting for a place in The Solheim Cup,” she said. “There are quite a few players who are quite well in fourth or fifth place (in The European Solheim Cup Team standings). It only takes one good week and you’re right up there again.”

Ekelundh carded six birdies and one bogey and added: “My short game was my best ever today. I didn’t play too well but I didn’t make any big mistakes either. I was never out of play and it was a long day.”

Germany’s Martina Eberl and England’s Lora Fairclough were on four-under 68, while a three-under-par 69 left England’s Laura Davies three shots off the pace.

“It was a funny start,” said Davies. “I three-putted the first and then I had a couple of silly bogies on 13 and 14 – which were on my front nine. And then a couple of birdies and three under on the back nine. It was a good comeback really because I was two over early doors.

“I’m playing well; I’m hitting it really good. It should have been better that that really on the back nine. I missed three or four chances in addition to the three I made.

“My season so far has not been bad at all really. I’m 21st on the money list in America so I can’t complain. I’ve played some good golf. I haven’t won an event yet, which is irritating, but I’ve had some chances and I’m very happy with my form.”

England’s Karen Stupples, the 2004 Women’s British Open champion, posted a 71 in what was her first tournament round since having her first son 10 weeks ago.

She said: “I survived and my feet haven’t fallen off! I’m very happy to have made it round and to have scored under par. I’m very happy about it. A pair of book-end birdies – birdie at the first and a birdie at the last and that was it.

“I think I burnt a little rust off today. I certainly felt rusty in some places out there. There were some decision making issues and knowing what I had to do in certain situations and that was just rust. Hopefully the more I play the better it will be.”