Stephanie Meadow is the leading challenger of the Irish trio in action at the Women's Open at a windswept Royal Troon after all three completed their opening rounds.

The Jordanstown native carded a 75 which leaves her on four over, eight shots off leader Amy Olson who tops the leaderboard on -4 after a magnificent round of 67 in hugely testing conditions. 

Olson was one of just three players to break par in the difficult conditions, the 28-year-old carding five birdies and a solitary bogey in a superb 67 to lead by three shots from compatriot Marina Alex and Germany's Sophia Popov.

"The conditions out there honestly were so tough that I've said that was the best ball-striking day of my life," Olson said. "I kept the trajectory on every shot what I wanted."

Olson, who finished second in the Evian Championship in 2018 after a double bogey on the 72nd hole, added: "I seriously love major championship golf. I love the difficult conditions. I just really feel like the cream rises to the top.

"You can't get away with anything and so it requires every part of your game to be sharp, and I love that challenge. I relish it."

Former champion Georgia Hall ended the day six shots off the pace but was was happy with a hard-fought 73 after being three over after five holes.

"Some holes I could barely stand up, it was so windy all the way round but especially at the start," Hall, who won at Royal Lytham in 2018, told Sky Sports. "I'm pretty happy with how I played today.

"I played quite conservative at Lytham and tried to stay out of the bunkers and that was my aim for today. When you go in a pot bunker you are literally chipping out and then it puts pressure on your third shot."

Cavan's Leona Maguire and Down's Olivia Mehaffey are two shots behind Meadow on six over after carding 77s. 

Meadow birdied the 16th and 17th holes but six bogeys leave her outside the top 50 after day one which saw gusts of up to 40 miles per hour. 

Maguire also birdied the 16th but double bogeys on the eighth and 18th proved especially costly, along with three other bogeys, while Mehaffey similarly birdied the 16th but double bogeyed the 17th on route to the same score.