Gwladys Nocera

“I’m very happy. I only made one real mistake at the 13th hole where I three-putted from ten feet which wasn’t good. I went for my first putt but apart from that with this wind I think anything under par is good. They’re all chasing me,” said Hudson, who is aiming for her second Ladies European Tour victory in five years as a professional. She previously won the OTP Bank Ladies Central European Open in Hungary a year ago.

“I think I can stave off Gwladys. She will be trying so hard because she’s in France but I have a good chance tomorrow.”

Hudson has fellow LET professional Kirsty Fisher on caddy duties this week and she added: “It’s great having Kirsty on the bag. I’ve known her a long time and she knows my game, sometimes it seems better than me. I say I’m nervous and she says, “Get over it. Sort it out”.

As well as the birdie putts on holes 10 and 11, Hudson holed from 25 feet at the seventh for birdie. She explained her new tactic: “In Catalonia I kept leaving everything in line but just short so every time I do that this week I owe Kirsty a euro. I think I’m up to 17 euros for this week and last week.”

In addition to Nocera and Johnson, Italy’s Stefania Croce was in the chasing pack after a five-under-par 67 took her to fourth place on five-under-par. Four players were four shots off the lead in joint fifth position on four-under-par: Swedes Linda Wessberg and Lotta Wahlin and Spaniards Marta Prieto and Marina Arruti. Wales’ Becky Brewerton was alone in ninth position on three-under-par.