Davies in the frame in France

Former European number one Laura Davies carded a seven-under-par 65 to lift herself into a share of third in the Vediorbis Open de France.

The 44-year-old had eight birdies, with her only dropped shot coming at the 145-yard third, to move to six under for the tournament at Le Golf d’Arras.

However, she is still four strokes behind Italy’s Stefania Croce, whose 71 extended her overnight lead to two shots.

“The course sets really well to my eye which is one of the reasons why I wanted to come back,” said Davies, who won her 70th title in Austria a fortnight ago.

“I knew I liked it and sure enough I’ve had a decent round today. We’re playing in good weather and you can’t beat it.

“The idea was to come back to Europe and get a bit more confidence back. I’ve won, had a few top-10s and had a few laughs, so it’s worked. I feel like I’m playing well again.”

England’s Georgina Simpson returned a 68 to be four under and in a share of seventh, while compatriots Lisa Hall and Felicity Johnson are joint 10th after rounds of 70 and 71 respectively.

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