Nikki Garrett

The young Australian posted four birdies, two bogeys and an eagle at the par-five third hole, where she holed a 30 foot putt from the back of the green. However she said that she was still recovering from illness.

“I haven’t felt good all day and I’ve still got the sickness I had on Monday,” said Garrett.

“I’m at the lethargic stage where I’ve got no energy. I didn’t try to out hit myself today. I just kept within myself and found some fairways. I sunk some good putts and a couple of long ones.

“I’m feeling confident with my putter at the moment and that’s the main difference between this year and last year.” Garrett was the Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year in 2006 and finished 12th on the New Star Money List.

Pilgrim, Hauert and Seeholzer were all well placed to earn their maiden victories on the Ladies European Tour.

Frederique Seeholzer

She carded six birdies and two bogeys and she said: “I always love to play in Losone. I played here last year but I was a bit more nervous coming here this year. I tried to be patient and not too expect too much. Last week I was sick so I wasn’t expecting anything.”

Hauert, 24 from Hagen, had a mixed round with seven birdies, a bogey and a double bogey at the par-three 11th, where her tee shot found the water.

“Ending up at the top of the leaderboard is always good but it’s a shame about the double and the bogey,” said Hauert. “It could have been much better but you know I didn’t expect the perfect round where I didn’t make any mistakes. My drives weren’t that good. I hit them long but they also got me into some trouble. My putting was good though – I only had 26 putts.”

Hauert, who won LET Qualifying School for the 2004 season, has finished tied for seventh twice in her career – at the 2006 Scandinavian TPC and at this year’s MFS Women’s Australian Open – but she is aiming for a career best finish in her fourth season on the LET.

The defending champion Gwladys Nocera had a 73 for a share of 31st position. She was disappointed but only five strokes behind the leaders and still very much in the competition.