ST ANDREWS (AFP) – A shaky finish tainted Park Inbee's first round at the Women's British Open on Thursday but a three under par 69 kept her bid for history alive at St Andrews.
Aiming to become the first golfer to win four majors in one calendar year, the 25-year-old South Korean made a brilliant start at the Old Course with five birdies in a flawless outward half of 31 and she moved to six under par after another gain at the 10th.
But four dropped shots in five holes from the 13th rather spoiled the day before she picked up another birdie at the 18th.
The world No.1 finished two strokes behind early pace-setter, Stacy Lewis.
"It was a real roller coaster and I am a little disappointed," said Park. "I had a couple of bad drives and bad putts."
"I was a little bit nervous on the first tee because I knew what I'm playing for. But I birdied the first from 10 feet and started so well that I felt I was coping well with the pressure."
Lewis, the American world No.2, made her move on a calm, overcast day with a great back nine of 31 that was highlighted by five birdies, including a chip-in at the 15th.
The 28-year-old has great memories of St Andrews - she won all five matches in helping the USA win the Curtis Cup in 2008 - and she was delighted to add to the success story.
"I don't care if it's calm or windy, five under on the back nine is a great score," she said. "I was a little frustrated when I reached the turn in level par but I'm delighted with the final outcome."
Park made all her birdies from inside 18 feet on the outward half to take an early lead but she missed the green at the 13th and then hit into a bunker and three-putted at the 16th for a double-bogey six.
At the 17th it was another three stabs with the putter that cost a shot.
"I'm going to work on my game this afternoon and I'm definitely looking to improve over the next three days," she summed up.