Nicole Broch Larson en route to a birdie on the Par 3, 14th hole.

Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larson made the most of the morning conditions at The Renaissance Golf Club, firing a 4-under-par round of 67 to hold the lunchtime clubhouse lead, one stroke ahead of Spain’s Azahara Munoz and two ahead of Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh.

The 2015 Ladies
European Tour Player of the Year, pulled a shot-clear of the field as the fog
lifted along the East Lothian coastline with closing birdies on the 17th
and 18th holes in a day that included as many as six birdies.

The four-time
worldwide winner is hoping to improve on her previous best finish (T13, 2014),
as she makes her sixth appearance at the tournament.

As the
first tournament back, Broch Larson showed no signs of rust on the greens,
needing only 26 putts, she explained,

“I played a couple of tournaments in Denmark and the key to my score was definitely my putting. I’ve also been playing at my home course in Denmark from the white tees, which is a similar length to this week, if not longer than this set up, so I feel like I have been used to making a lot of up-an-downs, which I managed to do today.”

When asked about how she has kept focus in the COVID-19 ‘bubble’ this week, her answer was simple,

“I’m
watching Billions on Netflix.”

Backing up
her fast start, which saw her hole-out her second shot for eagle on the first
hole of the day, Azahara Munoz made three further gains and two bogeys to fire
a 3-under-par 68.

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