Kelsey MacDonald tracking leaders in Morocco

Scottish amateur Kelsey MacDonald made her presence felt on the leaderboard in the opening round of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Agadir.

Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord led the way by one stroke at the end of a wind-affected first day of the Ladies European Tour event.

Skarpnord , a joint runner-up here last year, fired a five-under 66 in breezy conditions to end the day just ahead of South African rookie Melissa Eaton.

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But it was also a productive day for Nairn Dunbar’s MacDonald, who opened with a one-under 70 to sit in joint-eighth.

The Stirling University student signed for five birdies, including the last, where she showed tremendous spirit to bounce back from a double- bogey 6 at the previous hole.

Skarpnord carded four birdies on the front nine and picked up two more shots at 11 and 13 before dropping her only shot of the day on the 15th.

“It’s so windy today,” said Skarpnord, who was among the early starters. “I feel the score was fairly good. I played well today and my putter was working until I reached the 15th. I three-putted there but besides that I played nicely.”

Eaton was also at five under with three to play but bogeyed the par-three 16th to sit a stroke off the lead.

The 28-year-old said: “I just hit it really, really solidly today and hit a lot of greens which helped me because I had to make some pars and let the birdies happen.

“I made one bogey today so I’m happy about that in these conditions.”

Next up on three under was 17-year-old Briton Charley Hull, who made four birdies in her first six holes but came back in one over after bogey on the 12th.

Hull, making her first start on the European Tour since turning professional in December, said: “It feels good. I played in quite a few events as an amateur last year but I was a little bit nervous, but I just went out there and played.”