Nocera with her caddy Steve Walsh

She said: “It could have been much better. I played well but I didn’t putt well. The greens were getting bad with so many players walking on them and with the humidity the ball was not flying anywhere towards the end of the round. It was different but it didn’t matter. I’m still up there.”

Simpson, from Gomersal in West Yorkshire, said that she enjoyed the time spent relaxing in the clubhouse before her 3.45pm tee time.

“It was nice actually because you don’t always see some of the girls when you’re on the other side of the draw so it was nice to sit around and do a bit of socialising and lunch. It didn’t really feel like a delay at all,” she admitted.

“I got off to a good start; I bogeyed hole-ten but I had four birdies on the back nine on the same holes as I birdied yesterday. I chipped and putted to save my life on the first seven holes. I hit it close on eight and nine and made two birdies there so it’s not been pretty to watch but I’m doing something that I haven’t been doing for four weeks which is scoring. I’d rather it be that way round than hitting it great and not holing any putts.

“I’m pleased to be scoring well so if we can continue to score then that will be great. I haven’t looked at any leader boards today so I don’t know where I am. We’ll go out tomorrow and hope for the same again.

“I haven’t been in contention this year so it’s nice to be in the hunt. Hopefully there will be a few people out to watch tomorrow and no thunderstorms!” One of Simpson’s career best finishes was third in the 2004 KLM Ladies Open, when it was played at Kennemer GC. She also finished third in the Tenerife Ladies Open the same year. Nocera is aiming for her fourth Ladies European Tour victory.

Tinning, a five-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, played seven holes of her first round in addition to her second round on Saturday morning and she said: “I was on the worst side of the draw but I’m playing well.”

Should Nocera lead for the third day in succession, she would be the seventh French winner of the event and the third in as many years after Stephanie Arricau won in 2006 and Virginie Lagoutte-Clement won in 2005.