Lydia Ko has made a strong start to the British Open with an opening round 68 to sit three shots off the lead.

Ko recorded five birdies and a bogey to finish her round at four-under in a share of eighth.

Aussie Minjee Lee is the first round leader at seven-under following a round of 65 that included six birdies and an eagle. Japan's Maiko Higa, who played with Ko, is a further shot back in second.

"I feel like I played pretty solid and gave myself quite a few looks at birdie which is a good thing, especially in a major championship, but starting off four-under in round one is a solid start," said Ko.

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"I think the biggest thing for me is just to enjoy being out there, I had two great players to play alongside and everyone was playing really solid. I just tried to have fun, it's a long week so you just have to be patient and try enjoy every moment."

Ko tees off at 6.58pm NZT tonight in an early start to the second round.

Meanwhile Michelle Wie withdrew from the tournament midway through her first round because of a right hand injury.

The American golfer was 7 over after 12 holes at Royal Lytham when she quit.

Wie, who is ranked No. 18, said in a post on Twitter she "gave it all" but "couldn't handle the pain any longer."

Wie said she has been playing through pain all year, and that she would be taking some time off so her hand could fully recover.