Gwladys Nocera

She carded four birdies and a solitary bogey, compared to five birdies and two bogeys by Giquel.

“I’m hitting the ball well, it’s pretty solid,” said Nocera. “I spent last week practising my swing with my coach and after seven weeks on the road it was nice to be at home and to be able to sleep in my own bed.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Evian Masters next week and everything I’m doing is building up to that really, just getting in shape.”

Giquel came off the course eager to see the current scores at The Open Championship as her boyfriend Axel Bettan, to whom she is due to be married next August, is caddying at Hoylake for European Tour professional Gonzalo Fernandez Castano.

He will be caddying for Giquel in a fortnight’s time when she tees up at Royal Lytham in the Weetabix Women’s British Open. It will be the second time that she has played in the major championship, and she missed the cut when she played at Sunningdale when England’s Karen Stupples won in 2004.

Giquel is understandably excited as qualifying was one of her main goals for the season, as was playing in the elite field at this week’s Catalonia Ladies Masters.

“I wanted to win a tournament, get in to Evian, the British, here and LPGA Q School,” Giquel said. She didn’t qualify for Evian but feels all four of her other goals are achievable: “Now I am having more top tens I feel like I am playing well enough to win.”

Sarah Kemp, an Australian rookie, who is only 20, was thrilled to be in this week’s tournament as only the top 30 in the New Star Money List qualify.

She said: “I had a great start but I could have kept it going.” England’s Kirsty S Taylor, from Basingstoke, was playing much better after a missed cut in Hungary last week. She said: “I’ve been working really hard on the range and it seems to have paid off.”

Spain’s Marta Prieto was the best Spanish player after she fired a one-under-par 71.