Former world No.1 Stacy Lewis from the USA

Americans Stacy Lewis and Nicole Castrale set the clubhouse target at five-under-par 67 to lie alongside South Korean pair Na Yeon Choi and Mi-Jeong Jeon after a damp and grey first morning at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

England’s Liz Young was just a stroke back on 68, alongside Danielle Kang and Paula Creamer.

Young, the top placed full-time Ladies European Tour player, from Hampshire, went out in 32 with four birdies in her first six holes. She briefly held a share of the lead with world No.1 Inbee Park after a birdie on 11, but slipped back to four-under after a double bogey on 13 and another dropped shot on 16 combined with birdies on 14 and 17.

“I love St. Andrews.  As a golfer, it’s the Home of Golf, you just love it every time you stand on the first tee or walking down the 18th, it’s the best feeling in the world,” said Young, a member of the GB&I Curtis Cup team defeated by the Americans on the Old Course at St Andrews in 2008.

“It’s a dream come true.  It was a bit early this morning getting up at 4.30, but it was nice ‑‑ I thought it was going to be chucking it down all day but it wasn’t.  The weather was pretty good I thought for here.  I didn’t hit the ball fantastic but kept it out of the bunker which is was key.

“I’ve got a local caddie this week and just let him read the putts and hit it where he told me to and I hit a lot of good putts that dropped today,” she said.

Young has seen a dramatic improvement to her results this season after receiving putting lessons from Dave Hicks at ProCore.

England’s Liz Young

“I just hope to continue playing like I did today, holing the putts.  I had a double out there, which was a stupid double, too.  I should have walked off with a bogey, but hit three bad shots so you’re going to walk off with a double, but tomorrow, just keep doing the same thing.”

Young was defeated by Stacy Lewis in their singles match during the 2008 Curtis Cup on The Old Course at St Andrews, when the former NCAA champion from Arkansas was the only player to win all five matches in the first Curtis Cup played at the home of golf. 

The world No.2 made a slow start with a level par front nine, but fired five birdies on the back nine.

“I love this course.  I loved it when I played Curtis Cup here.  I don’t know, I feel so comfortable here that it’s a much different feeling to any other British Open I’ve ever played just because I know the golf course,” said 2011 Kraft Nabisco champion Lewis. “Usually you go to an Open and you have no clue where all the bunkers are and things like that, so I felt more comfortable.  But my goal every week is to give myself a chance to win on Sunday, and this is certainly a good start.”