France’s Gwladys Nocera birdied the last three holes to share the lead with Sweden’s Maria Boden at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.
Both players carded rounds of two-under-par 69 on a day of changeable weather conditions at the Carrick on Loch Lomond.
Nocera, a five-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, was one of only two players to score below par in the more breezy afternoon conditions.
Tania Elosegui from Spain also played in the afternoon and shot 70 to share third with Austria’s Nicole Gergely, South Korea’s Amy Yang and Australia’s Nikki Garrett.
England’s Felicity Johnson, Sweden’s Johanna Westerberg and France’s Melodie Bourdy, whose brother Gregory won the the Estoril Open de Portugal on the European Tour a month ago, tied for seventh on 71.
Nocera said: “I can’t ask for better. The wind is kind of turning around and it’s hard to get good speed on the greens. Some pin positions were tough as well.”
Nocera has been working out with the Biarritz rugby team over the winter, as well as training with her golf coach Olivier Leglise.
“I’ve been playing well in Spain. I’ve been hitting the ball well. I worked a lot last week to get back and this week I’m hitting the ball even better. I’m putting well too,” added the 32-year-old.
Boden’s round was bogey free with birdies on the first and fourth holes. The 30-year-old is aiming for her first victory on the Ladies European Tour, where her previous best finish was a share of third at the 2002 Irish Open.
“I’m very happy. I would take two more rounds like that. I made three good putts to save par, including one on 18,” said Boden.
Clare Queen, who is attached to the Carrick, was the leading Scottish player in a share of 10th place on one over.
Luckily, the fact that her driver’s shaft snapped the day before did not affect her play.
“The driver was okay today, it behaved itself,” she said. “I got it back last night about 10.15pm so I slept a bit easier knowing I had it. A pro locally had one of the shafts and he fixed it for me.”