Catriona Matthew blamed “silly mistakes” on early-season rust but was still much happier with her start in the HSBC Women’s Champions event compared to a “horror” show in Thailand last week.
The North Berwick woman, who continues to be the sole Saltire bearer in big events like this, carded a one-over-par 73 at Sentosa Golf Club to sit joint-42nd, seven shots behind leader Michelle Wie.
It was another mixed bag for Matthew, who opened with a 12-over-par 84 in last week’s LPGA event in the Far East before fighting back to finish on level-par.
She had five birdies on this card but also three double-bogeys - two of them at par-3s on the front nine.
“I made some silly mistakes due to still being a bit rusty, but I started to play better and I’m pleased overall,” said the 47-year-old.
“Last week I had just a horror first round. I don’t really know what happened and it was more embarrassment.”
To her credit, the Solheim Cup star bounced back with gutsy efforts of 66-67-71 to get back to level-per, finishing joint-45th after she’d been six shots adrift of the 70-strong field after day one.
“It was a case of trying to get back to even,” she added. “I just hung in and played really well the next two days.
“After having five weeks off, it’s always difficult to get back. You can practice all you want, but to be able to get the ball in the hole is slightly different.”
Wie set the pace in the event’s 10th staging after hitting two purple patches in her opening round.
The 27-year-old carded a six-under-par 66 to lead by a shot from world No 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, Canadian Brooke Henderson, South Korea’s Inbee Park, American Mo Martin and Swede Anna Nordqvist.
Wie, the 2014 US Women’s Open champion, signed for eight birdies, including a double burst of three in a row, first from the fourth then the 11th on the back nine.
World No 1 Lydia Ko opened with a 69, as did English star Charley Hull.