Hinako Shibuno. Women’s Scottish Open

Hinako Shibuno fired an opening round of 64 to lead by two strokes after the first day of the Women’s Scottish Open.

The Japanese star, who won the AIG Women’s Open in 2019, was bogey-free at Dundonald Links rolling in eight birdies.

Shibuno, who teed off from the 10th hole, began with a birdie and then made four on the trot on holes 13 through 16. And the major winner finished her round with a flourish making another three birdies in-a-row on holes six, seven and eight to sit at the top of the leaderboard on eight-under-par.

“It was really good overall,” said Shibuno. “I putted well. I like Scotland and I like playing in Scotland and the UK. I surprised myself with the four birdies in a row. I’m just being relaxed and more thinking about the sequence, the swing.”

Sweden’s Madelene Sagström sits in outright second place on six-under-par after firing a 66.

“It started really solid with three birdies right away,” said the LPGA Tour winner. “I made some really good iron shots today. It kept the driver in play and not fantastic, but I think my iron shots kept me in it. I made some easy putts and overall, a pretty easy day.

“I think it’s taken me a few years to figure links golf out. As an amateur, I hated it. I can’t hit it low, but I started working with Shane, my caddie who is Irish, two years ago.

“We’ve really been pushing it since and been able to be much more creative on the golf course and he’s helping me see the different shots now, so it’s really improved over the years. It’s been a journey.”

Three players are in a share of third place with Denmark’s Nicole Broch Estrup, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and American Caroline Inglis all on four-under-par.

Four players are one shot further back in a share of sixth place with Wales’ Lydia Hall, Sweden’s Maja Stark, France’s Celine Boutier and Australia’s Sarah Kemp all on three-under-par.