Rickie Fowler testing the weather at Scottish Open

If Rickie Fowler wanted a good tune-up before the British Open, he may have found what he was looking for at this week's Scottish Open.

The ninth-ranked player in the world finished with a flurry of birdies to stand at 4-under through Thursday's first round at Gullane Golf Club.

It was an encouraging round for Fowler on a classic, links-style course.

"Just the amount of spots that you get to hit, the amount of imagination you get to use," he said before the tournament. "And like I talked about earlier with the weather how the golf course is playing a little different every day and how ... you can see four different courses throughout the week. You just have to be able to adapt to change."

Thorbjorn Olesen held the lead at 7-under Thursday, followed by a half-dozen players -- including Alejandro Canizares and Jimmy Walker -- two strokes behind. Fowler was tied for eighth.

Walker also talked about climate as part of the reason he chose the Scottish Open over the John Deere Classic in Illinois this week.

"It's going to be colder over here, compared to John Deere, where it's hot," he said. "I might be a little more used to the temperature."

The British Open will be played at St. Andrews next week.

Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times