Sophie Giquel-Bettan, a 32-year-old from Valence in France fired a first round six under par 66 to take a one shot lead at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters.

Sophie Giquel-Bettan

Sophie Giquel-Bettan from France fired a first round six under par 66 to take a one shot lead at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters on Thursday.

The 32-year-old from Valence ended the day ahead of South African Ashleigh Simon, Italian Sophie Sandolo, Josephine Janson of Sweden and Nontaya Srisawang from Thailand.

English pair Charley Hull and Trish Johnson are part of a large group two strokes off the pace, on four under par.

“It was a great day,” said Giquel-Bettan, after picking up four birdies on the back nine followed by a bogey and three more birdies on the front nine at Buckinghamshire Golf Club.

“Yesterday I played the Pro-Am and it was 36 degrees. It was so hot and this morning it was 20, 22C with just a little breeze, so perfect conditions.”

Simon, the joint runner-up behind Karrie Webb in 2013, had an eagle, four birdies and a bogey in her 67. She said: “I got off to a nice steady start and birdied my third hole of the day. I eagled the par 5 14th after I holed a nice bomb from the back of the green and gave myself some nice chances coming in and birdied 17 and made a good par on 18. All of the par fives are pretty much reachable so if you play those well you can be four under. It was a steady start.”

Srisawang was another player who took advantage of the situation to hit 17 greens and make six birdies. She said: “The condition of the course is really dry and we can get distance on the tee shot so you can hit onto the greens with short irons and if you make a putt then you will make a good score. The conditions today were not really hard, not really windy.”

Like Srisawang, Hull played in the afternoon and was content with making five birdies and one bogey. After her round, the 19-year-old Solheim Cup winner said: “I’m happy because I putted pretty well today. I just kept coming up short with my irons. I struck it well but kept miss-clubbing myself. I feel like I’m so used to my American distances that now when I’m in a tournament I keep thinking I’m going to hit them a bit further but I don’t. Although I’ve been in England for two weeks we’ve just been mucking around with my friends, so I’ve hit some massive fades, but I’m pretty happy with the way I’m playing.”

Johnson was also delighted with her round following a disappointing run of results this season due to a persistent back injury and feels that she has turned a corner. Last year’s Scottish Open champion said: “I had a lesson a couple of days ago with Stuart Brewer, the father of Ben Brewer, who caddied for me in Holland. There was some stuff that I really needed help with.”

Fellow Britons Melissa Reid and Dame Laura Davies had one under par rounds of 71 to lie in a share of 37th place, a stroke ahead of Amy Boulden, the 2014 rookie of the year.

Collated scores after round 1:

66 – Sophie Giquel-Bettan (FRA)

67 – Ashleigh Simon (RSA) , Nontaya Srisawang (THA) , Josephine Janson (SWE)

68 – Marta Sanz Barrio (ESP) , Charley Hull (ENG) , Emily Kristine Pedersen (DNK) , Trish Johnson (ENG) , Diana Luna (ITA) , Sophie Sandolo (ITA) , Ssu-Chia Cheng (TPE)

69 – Leona Maguire (IRL) , Nicole Broch Larsen (DEN) , Isabella Ramsay (SWE) , Pamela Pretswell (SCO) , Marianne Skarpnord (NOR) , Felicity Johnson (ENG) , Titiya Plucksataporn (THA) , Gwladys Nocera (FRA) , Becky Morgan (WAL) , Charlotte Ellis (ENG)

70 – Rebecca Artis (AUS) , Klara Spilkova (CZE) , Florentyna Parker (ENG) , Minea Blomqvist (FIN) , Charlotte Thompson (ENG) , Ann-Kathrin Lindner (GER) , Stacy Lee Bregman (RSA) , Sarah Attwood (ENG) , Caroline Masson (GER) , Alex Peters (ENG) , Heather Macrae (SCO) , Rebecca Hudson (ENG) , Holly Clyburn (ENG) , Sophie Walker (ENG) , Lauren Taylor (ENG)

71 – Valentine Derrey (FRA) , Nanna Koerstz Madsen (DNK) , Laura Davies (ENG) , Malene Jorgensen (DEN) , Melissa Reid (ENG) , Leigh Whittaker (GER) , Isabelle Boineau (FRA) , Maria Palacios Siegenthaler (ESP) , Camilla Lennarth (SWE) , Louise Friberg (SWE) , Beth Allen (USA) , Bree Arthur (AUS) , Carly Booth (SCO)

72 – Liv Cheng (NZL) , Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) , Alexandra Vilatte (FRA) , Caroline Martens (NOR) , Viva Schlasberg (SWE) , Lina Boqvist (SWE) , Caroline Afonso (FRA) , Stephanie Na (AUS) , Marion Ricordeau (FRA) , Sarah Kemp (AUS) , Danielle Montgomery (ENG) , Hannah Ralph (ENG) , Amy Boulden (WAL) , Csilla Lajtai-rozsa (HUN) , India Clyburn (ENG) , Ursula Wikstrom (FIN) , Caroline Rominger (SWI)

73 – Paula Hurtado (COL) , Maria Balikoeva (RUS) , Sophia Popov (GER) , Noora Tamminen (FIN) , Louise Stahle (SWE) , Anna Christina Kindgren (COL) , Nina Muehl (AUT) , Lien Willems (BEL) , Steffi Kirchmayr (GER) , Maha Haddioui (MAR) , Rachel Goodall (ENG) , Nina Holleder (GER) , Johanna Bjork (SWE)

74 – Georgia Hall (ENG) , Jade Schaeffer (FRA) , Elisa Serramia (ESP) , Hannah Burke (ENG) , Patricia Sanz Barrio (ESP) , Marika Voss (FIN) , Melanie Maetzler (SWI) , Eleanor Givens (ENG) , Emma Goddard (ENG) , Miriam Nagl (BRA) , Linda Henriksson (FIN) , Fabienne In-albon (SWI) , Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) , Giulia Sergas (ITA) , Cathryn Bristow (NZL) , Stefania Croce (ITA) , Margherita Rigon (ITA) , Melissa Eaton (RSA)

75 – Kelsey Macdonald (SCO) , Whitney Hillier (AUS) , Anjelika Hammar (SWE) , Georgina Simpson (ENG) , Sarah-Jane Boyd (ENG) , Lucie Andre (FRA) , Liz Young (ENG) , Holly Aitchison (ENG) , Julia Davidsson (SWE) , Laurette Maritz (RSA) , Linda Wessberg (SWE) , Laura Jansone (LVA) , Maria Beautell (ESP)

76 – Karolin Lampert (GER) , Lynn Carlsson (SWE) , Laura Sanchez (COL) , Krista Bakker (FIN) , Connie Chen (RSA) , Elina Nummenpaa (FIN) , Christine Wolf (AUT) , Laura Cabanillas (ESP) , Sally Watson (SCO)

77 – Neha Tripathi (IND) , Laura Murray (SCO) , Marie Fourquier (FRA) , Anais Maggetti (SWI) , Rebecca Sorensen (SWE)

78 – Nicole Garcia (RSA) , Anne Van Dam (NLD) , Sahra Hassan (WAL) , Chloe Leurquin (BEL) , Monique Smit (RSA) , Stacey Keating (AUS) , Vikki Laing (SCO) , Carmen Alonso (ESP) , Daisy Nielsen (DEN) , Emma Westin (SWE)

79 – Kiran Matharu (ENG) , Annabel Dimmock (ENG) , Amanda Strang (SWE) , Portland Rosen (USA)

80 – Becky Brewerton (WAL)

81 – Mireia Prat (ESP) , Carin Koch (SWE)

83 – Rebecca Codd (IRL) , Amber Ratcliffe (ENG)

84 – Virginia Espejo (ESP)