Golf: Steady start from Matthew at Carnoustie, but Lee makes early running

North Berwick's Catriona Matthew lived up to her role as the British No.1 with an opening two-under-par 70 at the Ricoh Women's British Open at Carnoustie.

An early starter, the Scot was lucky to get the best of the weather - but it was South Korean Meena Lee who put together the best round of the day, and she played all 18 holes of a stunning 65 in torrential rain. Lee, whose best finish in the British Open was a tie for 33rd at St Andrews four years ago, had a faultless seven-birdie round to lead by two from the powerful American, Brittany Licnicome, with the group in 69 including the former Scottish Open Champion from Sweden, Sophie Gustafson.

Matthew hit her first blow before 7am and made the most positive of starts by striking her approach shot at the par four to 15 feet and holing out for birdie. She picked up another four shots - the pick of the bunch being a 35-foot putt at the 12th.

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She also dropped three shots, but was satisfied with a round that put her as the joint top Briton with Wales' Becky Brewerton.

"Anything under par in the first round of a major is pretty decent," she said. "I was really lucky with the conditions. When we started it was warm, calm and sunny, and I maybe should have scored a bit lower."

Kylie Walker and Pamela Pretswell were the other Scots who could give themselves a pat on the back - and they are in the same Kevin Craggs' coaching stable with Matthew.

Walker, a Monday qualifier, birdied the 17th for a 72, while Pretswell, the 22-year-old amateur from Bothwell Castle, with her father William on the bag, had three birdies and also finished on level par.

"The only other time I played here was as a 15-year-old and it was terrible," recalled Pretswell. "I think I shot 89. But today was great. I would definitely have taken level par before I went out."

Walker played with Matthew at Carnoustie a few weeks ago, and she said: "It was great to see how she plotted her way round. It definitely helped me today."

Glasgow's Janice Moodie, the fourth Scot in the field, had to settle for a 75.

She didn't manage one birdie - but she is just playing her second tournament this year following the arrival of her second son, Matt, in March.

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