“It was very solid golf today, I only missed two greens and even then I was only on the fringe,” said Nocera, who is the current number four on the New Star Money List.

“The wind was very strong but I like that because I’m used to it coming from Biarritz. I’ve been playing well but I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing to give myself a chance on Sunday.”

Brewerton, 23, from St Asaph, was the best placed British player after firing five birdies and a bogey this morning.

She said: “This course is really weird. It plays completely differently in the morning to the afternoon. Yesterday I found it quite tricky with the wind blowing across the course but I shot level par. I probably could have been one or two under.

“Today, I almost had a hole in one at the third, but it was just an inch short. I had another birdie chance on the par three where I three putted from 12 feet and had the easiest putt on the course. It was straight uphill but I missed that and managed to slightly push my next shot. Walking up to the green I thought it was an automatic birdie so that was probably a mistake. It was the easiest putt you could have had. But overall I played well.”

England’s Rebecca Hudson, who won the Acer South African Open and the Nedbank Women’s South African Tour’s order of merit title in January, carded five birdies and one bogey to move into contention.

The Doncaster-based player has had a strong start to the season, finishing tied for third at the Tenerife Ladies Open place a fortnight ago.

“It could have been better; I had a few lip outs and I struggled a bit on the practice round so I’m pretty happy. I played very well out there,” she admitted.

“It’s all going really nicely at the moment. I would have taken third in Tenerife. I was struggling for the first few days out there with my putting and then one of the players who missed the cut, Kirsty Fisher, caddied for me and that made the difference.

“Winning in South Africa was fab. It was at Durban Country Club and it rained all week so everyone said that it was weather for the British.

“Myself and Cecilie Lundgreen played together in the last group on the last day and she kept missing the fairways by about a foot on the par fives and not being able to get on in two, which saved my bacon. I could reach most of the par fives so I managed to stay ahead. It was a nice feeling.

“I’m still waitressing. I’ve been promoted to restaurant supervisor at Mount Pleasant and it’s great. I do that from when the tour finishes and I do a little bit in February so I’m full time in the winter. I really like it and it’s opened up a whole new social scene and way of life for me. I can sit around and still get paid. In golf, if I don’t give everything I’ve got I don’t get paid.

Hudson, who had a glittering amateur career, admitted that it had taken her three years to find her feet as a professional.

“I missed lots of team events and playing for my country. It took a while to figure out that now I’m playing for myself; I’m not doing it for anyone else,” she explained.

“I used to enjoy playing as part of a team because I didn’t have to think about it whereas now this is my job. I’ve decided to set myself times to work and I’ve set myself times to have off so I look at it a bit more professionally.

“I loved the game too much to do it like that before. I just wanted to play but I wasn’t playing with a focus. As an amateur I always played to get into a team. I mean out here there’s The Solheim Cup, but I wasn’t really thinking about that. I’m not very good at playing for myself.

“This week I’m playing for a handbag for my friend and if I finish in the top ten at the end of the year I have to buy it. But it’s a £750 handbag so it’s not just any handbag but she really, really wants it so to try and win that for her would be great. I’ve got to decide what I’m playing for. You can give yourself targets to finish top ten in the money list or whatever but it’s not really tangible. You need to give yourself a target every week I think. For example in Tenerife when Kirsty Fisher was caddying for me she really, really wanted the Tag Hauer watch. So I just wanted to play well to win that watch for her for the best round of the week and I lipped out on 17 and 18 from no more than six feet and missed it by one so I was really gutted. Someone told me I’d shot a good round and I didn’t even realise because I’d been concentrating on getting the watch. I’m just enjoying it more these days.”