British Open: Mingee Lee opens with 65 to lead by one shot

Australia's Minjee Lee lines up a putt on the 15th green on the first day of the 2018 Women's British Open Golf Championships PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Australian Mingee Lee leads the British Open after a 7-under-par opening round of 65 at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

Lee, 22, eagled the par-5 15th and then birdied the 16th to move two shots clear of Japan's Mamiko Higa, but then dropped her only shot of the day at the 17th to reduce her lead to one.

Lee is in good form after finishing second at the Scottish Open last week and is currently ranked No. 8 in the world.

Afterwards, Lee said she was in a "good place" and that her finish at Gullane last week gave her belief going into The Open.

"I've been confident all year and coming off last week I know I can play a links course and handle those conditions," Lee told Sky Sports.

At 5 under, England's Georgia Hall is the leading British contender. Hall, who finished third at the Open last year, rose quickly up the leaderboard after three consecutive birdies on the back nine.

Sandra Gal is a shot further back at 4 under, although the German was on course to take a first-round lead after a run of six birdies in seven holes left her 6 under. Gal then bogeyed two of the final four holes to slip to fourth place, where she is joined by world No. 3 Sung Hyun Park.

Angel Yin is the leading American at 3 under, and is the only U.S. player in the top 10. Yin made three birdies during a bogey-free round and is joined by last week's Scottish Open winner Moriya Jutanugarn.

England's Bronte Law is 2 under while Americans Tiffany Joh and Jessica Korda are one behind at 1 under, along with world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn and Charlie Hull, who birdied the final hole.

Defending champion In-kyung Kim bogeyed the last to also finish 1 under.

Catriona Matthews, who is the last British player to win the Open and was crowned champion the last time the tournament was held at Royal Lytham & St Annes, finished with an even-par 72.

American Michelle Wie withdrew midway through her round because of a hand injury. Wie, who is ranked No. 18, was 7 over after 12 holes when she quit, saying in a Twitter post that she "gave it her all" but "couldn't handle the pain any longer".