Gemma Dryburgh got off to a promising start in her bid to come through the inaugural LPGA Q-Series – a 144-hole test taking place over two weeks in North Carolina.
The Aberdonian, who won a card under the old format last year but struggled to find her feet as a rookie on the US-based circuit this season, opened with a one-under-par 71 on Pinehurst No 6 to sit just a shot off the early clubhouse lead.
This year’s examination involves four rounds on Pinehurst No 6 then a further 72 holes on the No 7 course at the same venue, with the top 45 and ties earning LPGA membership for next season.
Elsewhere, Paul O’Hara made the best start among six Scots taking part in the PGA EuroPro Tour Championship at Desert Springs in Spain.
Needing a high finish to get in the mix for five Challenge Tour cards up for offer through the third-tier circuit’s Order of Merit, O’Hara opened with a two-under-par 70 to sit joint-19th.
O’Hara, who retained his Tartan Tour Order of Merit title when finishing joint-second in the Scottish PGA Championship last week, was out in three-under before dropping his only shot of the day at the par-5 13th.
On a day when Englishman Billy Spooner set the pace with a 65, Craig Ross, Paul McKechnie and Daniel Young all carded 72s. Ross, who started the event less than £1,800 outside a card spot, dropped shots at the last two holes after getting to two-under with back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th.
Craig Lawrie was three-under after six but had to settle for a 74 while Ryan Campbell had a triple bogey and two double bogeys in his 81.