AIG Women’s Open: Catriona Matthew four shots off lead at Royal Troon

-4 A Olson (US); -1 M Alex (US), S Popov (Ger); E T Suwannapura (Tha), A Nordqvist (Swe), A Sharp (Can), C Matthew (Sco), L-A Pace (Rsa), E Pedersen (Den), N Iturrios (Spa), D Holmqvist (Swe), L Weaver (US), G Lopez (Mex)
Selected others: +1 N Korda (US); +2 M Thomson (Sco), G Hall (Eng), J Ewart Shadoff (Eng); +3 E Givens (Eng), G Dryburgh (Sco), B Morgan (Wal); +4 S Meadow (NI)
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Scotland’s Catriona Matthew is four shots off leader Amy Olson after round one of the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon.

The 50-year-old, the 2009 Open winner, is in a tie for fourth with nine others on level par after a 71.

Germany’s Sophia Popov and American Marina Alex are one under par.

“Obviously a day like today, the conditions probably helped me that it’s not going to be super low [scoring],” said Matthew.

Matthew, who will captain Team Europe again at next year’s Solheim Cup, was two over par with four holes remaining but made birdies from the 15th to the 17th before finishing with a bogey.

“No reason why I can’t go on from here,” she added. “Obviously there’s still a huge way to go, but just need to keep plugging away.”

England’s Georgia Hall, who won the event in 2018, and Jodi Ewart Shadoff both finished on two over while Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh is one shot further back.

Olson, 28, carded five birdies and one bogey as she finished with a fine four-under 67, despite high winds making scoring difficult.

Dame Laura Davies, who hit the opening tee shot to mark her 40th appearance in the event, birdied three of the last six holes but could still only return a nine-over-par 80.

Hall, who was three over par after five holes in the gusty conditions on the Ayrshire coast, believes her cautious approach paid off.

“Some holes I could barely stand up. It was so windy all the way round but especially at the start,” Hall told Sky Sports. “I’m pretty happy with how I played.

“I played quite conservatively with my approach.

“I’ve got to keep going and keep grinding because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Venue: Royal Troon, Ayrshire Date: August 20-23
Coverage: Daily highlights on BBC iPlayer at 20:30 BST, Red Button at 22:00 BST and BBC Two at 23:30. Regular updates on BBC Radio 5 Live.

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