AmericanMichelle Wie carded a new course record eight-under-par 64 at Kingsbarns Links to lead the way on day one of the Ricoh Women's Briitsh Open.
Few who witnessed Michelle Wie’s dismal slide down the world rankings in 2016 could have predicted the scene today, as the American strolled the fairways with a beaming smile on her face, casually carding birdie after birdie, seemingly without a care in the world.
With the neck injury that put pay to her US Open challenge behind her, the twenty-seven-year-old, whose best finish in the Ricoh Women’s British Open came as an amateur over a decade ago, made the best of the morning weather at Kingsbarns Links to fire a new course record eight-under-par 64.
That score looked far from certain after a sculled lob wedge resulted in an early bogey at the 2nd, but from there the American, who likened the course to her native Hawaii, played flawless golf, recording nine birdies to lead the championship by one from Korea’s In-Kyung Kim.
Wie, who had fallen out of the world’s top 100 at the same point in the season last year, attributed her rise to a more relaxed approach on the course, saying that a realisation of how lucky she was had resulted in a renewed and more laid-back attitude on the golf course.
A sizable chasing pack sits at five-under-par, including Solheim Cup contenders Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Mel Reid, who both need a strong performance to guarantee their place on the plane to Iowa, and World No.2 Lexi Thompson.
The story of the day however belonged to Dame Laura Davies, who after telling the media yesterday that there was absolutely no hope of her winning the event, went out in a remarkable five-under-par, and despite a bogey on the fourteenth, would card a four-under-par 68, to finish the day on T9.
It is the Englishwoman’s 37th appearance in the tournament, having come through final qualifying at the Castle Course on Monday, and she confessed to having lost little of the passion she possessed when she first teed it up in British Ladies Open as an amateur almost four decades ago.
Nineteen-year-old Sophie Lamb put up a strong challenge for the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur, carding a 69 to put her alongside the top ranked player in the non-paid ranks, Ireland’s Leona Maguire, at three-under-par.