The former Scottish internationalist, who has been a member of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers for a year, played alongside Lydia Hall of Wales in the first group out after 65 players made the cut.
“I played okay,” she reported afterwards. “I didn't embarrass myself off the first tee, almost got on the green at the first, three-putted as usual.”
She was disappointed that a great birdie opportunity wasn’t converted at the second hole but added of the experience: “It was good. Putting could have been better, but I struck the ball nicely.”
Garden, who hails from Tain but now lives in Edinburgh, had known for some time that she could be called upon in the historic first women’s professional event at the East Lothian venue.
“A few weeks,” she said to being asked how long she’d been lined up for the role. “There was some chat that if there was an odd number, so it wasn't totally unexpected.”
Had she been nervous? “Very,” she admitted. “If I topped it off the first tee, I would have swapped you for anything,” she added, smiling, “but it went off okay, so thereafter it was fine.
Garden, who will be back out in the first group on Sunday and is likely to have fellow Scot Gemma Dryburgh for company on that occasion, reached the final of the Scottish Women’s Championship in 1989.
Along with Barabara Biggart, she’s been on Muirfield’s championship committee for the $7.3 million event and believes it has been a resounding success.
“I think so,” she said to being asked if she felt it had lived up to expectations, having been made possible by the club being successful at the second attempt in 2017 to admit women members.
“I mean, the course is fantastic, isn't it. It just looks great and so I think all the girls are loving playing our golf course, and that's what we want, just that opportunity to play here just as what the men have had for years and years.”