Johnson clear in Scotland

England's Trish Johnson continued her successful relationship with the Fidra Course at Archerfield Links as she stormed to a first-round six-under-par 66 in tough and blustery conditions in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

Johnson, who has twice finished inside the top five at the venue, with a tie for second in 2010 and share of fourth in 2012, finished three clear of Frenchwoman Anne-Lise Caudal.

Scottish pair Carly Booth, winner of the competition in 2012, and Kylie Walker and Denmark's Nicole Broch Larsen are in a tie for third after carding two-under rounds, while England's Melissa Reid, Scotland's Sally Watson and France's Caroline Afonso lie a shot further back.

After coming close to withdrawing with a back injury on the eve of the tournament, Johnson recovered to the extent that she started with three straight birdies, before adding another at the fifth, but she then bogeyed the seventh for an outward half of 33.

She made three more birdies on the back nine, at holes 11, 12 and 15, for a matching inward total.

Johnson said: "To be honest I didn't have huge expectations this week because I haven't practised for a week and I had a bit of a tough situation with my back but I think that probably helped me in the end because low expectations was better.

"I started with three birdies, which was nice, rolled a good birdie at the first and a two-putt birdie at the second and a four or five footer at the third, so that was good for the confidence.

"I knocked it stiff at the fifth so I was four under and I didn't do an awful lot wrong. I made a bogey on seven, but that was a monstrous hole today, playing straight into the wind. The back nine played really well and I putted really well.

"I picked up an old putter out of the garage that a friend was using, a two-ball putter, so I asked if I could use it and that's the best I've putted in donkey's years, so let's hope it continues."