The honor of striking the first tee shot went to Gemma Dryburgh, one of seven Scots in the field. However, due to a two-hour delay due to heavy fog that blanketed The Renaissance Club, that tee shot cracked through the sky at 8:30 a.m. rather than the regularly scheduled 6:30 a.m.
“There was a few people that came to the first tee, Aberdeen Standard staff, which was nice, just to have someone there,” said Dryburgh. “I did feel nervous. It's always an honor to hit the first tee shot. I got to do it a couple years ago at Gullane, and that was about 6:45, or 6:30, as well. It was 8:30 today but felt like 6:30. I was nervous but I like feeling a bit of nerves. I think it focuses you, as long as you manage them well, which I think I can do now.”
Once Dryburgh finally hit the course, any trace of nerves or sleepiness quickly wore away. She bounced back from a bogey on No. 2 with four consecutive birdies at 5-8, and despite an unfortunate double bogey at No. 11, the 27-year-old from Aberdeen finished at -2 and is the low Scot heading into Friday’s second round in a tie for seventh. Playing early certainly gave Dryburgh a weather advantage, getting most of her round in before the afternoon winds picked up.
“The sun came out on 13, and it's really nice now,” said Dryburgh. “The wind's gotten up a bit, so I think it will play a bit tougher this afternoon. Our back nine definitely played tougher into the wind and stuff. But the last three holes are downwind, so there's a few chances there, as well.”