Ricoh British Women's Open: Morgan Pressel tied for the lead at St Andrews
Last Updated: 02/08/13 9:05am
Morgan Pressel: Tied at the top after opening 66
Morgan Pressel and Camilla Lenarth outshone history-chaser Inbee Park in the first round of the Ricoh British Women's Open.
All the pre-tournament focus had been on Park, seeking to become as the first player - male of female - to win four straight professional major championships in the same year, and she looked like putting on a show early on.
The South Korean raced to six under after 10 holes but dropped three shots coming home.
A double-bogey six at the 381-yard 16 and another dropped shot at the next looked like ruining what had been a promising round but she birdied the last to finish with a three-under 69.
Her stutter allowed her rivals to take advantage and Pressel topped the leaderboard on six under along with surprise package Lenarth, the world number 340, who had three birdies in each half of her round with no dropped shots.
The 25-year-old Pressel from Florida posted seven birdies and one dropped shot on the Old Course to take a one-shot lead into the second round ahead of another South Korean Ji Eun-hee, the 2009 US Women's Open champion.
Two other Koreans - Choi Na-yeon and Jon Mi-jeon - and four other Americans - world number two Stacey Lewis, Nicole Castrale, Ryann O'Toole and Sydnee Michaels - also joined her on that score.
"Having played on three teams, it's something that I don't want to miss."
Morgan Pressel on Solheim Cup
Pressel revealed some of her motivation came from her desire to qualify for the Solheim Cup.
"Having played on three teams, it's something that I don't want to miss and something that I'm definitely thinking about and at the same time, trying not to think about and trying to worry about focusing on this week," she said.
"That was my biggest goal coming into this week; not to think about Solheim Cup and I only thought about it maybe a handful of times on every hole - not on every shot.
"When it did come up, I tried to say, hey, there's a lead out there and I'm trying to chase that lead.
"I'm not worried about finishing in the Top-20 or worried about my ranking or anything like that.
"If I play my game, I'll be on that team."