Boeljon went to the turn in level par 35 and was three under after 16 but dropped shots at the two closing par fours. She said: “I played solid, stayed patient and other than the last few weeks, my putting is a bit better now so that’s why I’m scoring a bit better.”
All three players are challenging for their maiden wins on the Ladies European Tour. Laing was the runner-up in June’s Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open, while Boeljon shared second place at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open in May and Zuel tied for third at the 2008 S4C Wales Ladies Championship at Machynys Peninsula in Llanelli.
They are being chased by 17-year-old amateur Amy Boulden from nearby Llandudno, who opened with a 72, to share fourth with 21-time tournament champion Helen Alfredsson from Sweden.
Boulden plays the course regularly and her father, Simon, is the club professional at Maesdu Golf Club, which is five miles away from Conwy Golf Club.
“I played really steady. I just tried to put the ball in the right places off the tee to avoid all the bunkers and I holed quite a few putts,” said Boulden, who has her father on the bag.
She has finished her GCSEs and is taking a year off to focus on improving her game. “I don’t really want to go back to school. I hated it,” she said. “I’m just going to go to Spain in the winter I think and work on my golf over there.”
England’s Holly Aitchison was the best placed of the morning starters and finished on one over par 73, playing in colder conditions and through heavy showers.
At the end of the day, she shared sixth with Frenchwoman Anne-Lise Caudal and the 2006 champion Linda Wessberg of Sweden.
Becky Brewerton of Wales was also out in the worst of the early conditions and carded a five over par 77.
She said: “It was really difficult. I’d probably say, out of the hundreds of times I’ve played here, it was probably the most difficult it’s ever been. I don’t remember playing in such a strong breeze and the holes were really difficult. It was a really tough test so I’m feeling absolutely shattered.
“I would have said at the start of the day if I’d shot two or three over that would have been about level par so I don’t think I’ve done that bad. Five over, I don’t know where it is position wise but I know it’s really difficult out there and I’m not massively disappointed with that.”