The 2013 Women's British Open is officially underway from the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.
After 18 holes of play, co-leader Morgan Pressel is in prime position to become the first American to win the Open championship since Sherri Steinhauer won at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2006. But Pressel isn't the only familiar face off to a fast start this August.
Here we'll take a look at the current leaderboard after Day 1 and highlight the top contenders heading into the second round at St Andrews.
|Pos.||Player||Round 1 Score||Overall|
|T3||Na Yeon Choi||67||-5|
Morgan Pressel, -6
American Morgan Pressel is off to a strong start at the 2013 Women's British Open this summer, shooting a six-under 66 on Thursday to grab a share of the tournament lead.
The 25-year-old bogeyed only one hole for the entire round, opening up with a birdie on No. 1 and recording three consecutive birdies on the back nine to finish strong. As Golfweek's Beth Ann Baldry points out via Twitter, Pressel has done well to figure things out and adjust since her last trip to St Andrews six years ago:
Morgan Pressel was a not a fan of the Old Course when she came here in 2007. Didn't appreciate links golf. Attitude adjustment = early lead.— Beth Ann Baldry (@Golfweek_Baldry) August 1, 2013
Aside from her troubles on No. 6 in Round 1, Pressel looked to be in complete control of the course on Thursday.
Pressel's previous best finish at the Women's British Open came in 2010 at Royal Birkdale when she tied for eighth. After a quick start in 2013, she looks poised to improve upon that performance.
Stacy Lewis, -5
It's no surprise that Stacy Lewis is playing well early on at the British Open this summer. After all, the 28-year-old American showed she had the potential to excel a year ago at this event, finishing tied for eighth.
On Thursday, Lewis was strong, but didn't find her rhythm until the back nine, where she recorded five birdies after shooting even through the front nine to head into the clubhouse at five-under for the tournament.
The 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship winner hasn't played her best golf at the previous three major tournaments in 2013, but victories in Singapore and Arizona earlier this year have to give her confidence heading into Friday.
Although Lewis is tied with seven other competitors heading into Round 2, she has momentum on her side after finishing on a high note on Thursday.
Na Yeon Choi, -5
One of the women tied with Stacy Lewis after Round 1 is South Korean star Na Yeon Choi, who won her first major tournament last year at the 2012 U.S. Women's Open.
Unlike Lewis, Choi's day started off well before she fell back down to earth on the back nine. Choi would birdie four of the first eight holes and five of the first 10 before bogeying the par-3 No. 11. She would shoot par on each of the next six holes before knocking in a birdie on No. 18 to pull within one shot of the lead.
Golfmagic.com's Andy Roberts points out some impressive stats from Choi's outing:
I know St Andrews is wide but fair play to Na Yeon Choi for hitting every fairway today. Missed just one green, too. @RICOHWomensBrit— Andy Roberts (@AndyRobertsGolf) August 1, 2013
Choi tied for third at Royal Birkdale back in 2010 in what is her best career finish at the season's fourth major.
But with a major championship on her resume this time around, the 25-year-old has to be considered a legitimate threat to conquer St Andrews.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.