Sophie Giquel lies in second

Giquel, 23, from Lyon, had a superb third round of 66 after posting six birdies with four in a row from the eighth today. She had just one bogey and is well in the hunt for her maiden title.

“Yesterday I was seven under after 14 holes and I was stressed so I doubled both the 15th and 16th holes. Today I told myself to stay quiet. I think I learned from yesterday and I did my best,” she said.

Giquel, whose caddy and boyfriend Axel Bettan also works for Gonzalo Fernandez Castano on the men’s European Tour, is a friend of Nocera but she admitted that she will be completely focused on trying to beat her tomorrow.

The defending champion Iben Tinning kept her title chances alive after a 67 today which took her into a share of third position on eight-under-par with fellow Dane Amanda Moltke Leth and Sweden’s Linda Wessberg.

England’s Rebecca Hudson was seven shots off the pace after a faultless 66 took her to seven-under-par for the tournament and into sixth position.

She said: “I just played really well today. I didn’t make a bogey. I struck the ball really well and the pins were more accessible, which helped.

“I made 17 greens and 16 greens. It was one of those days where I was putting really well and it was just a really good round of golf.”
Sanchez, who, like Nocera, carded a seven-under-par 65, credited her new putting technique to a change in fortunes after an indifferent start to the season. She had a putting lesson with fellow Tour player Di Barnard after shooting 74 in the second round.

“I was putting very, very badly and with no confidence so I just decided I had to try to improve because it couldn’t get any worse,” said The 2003 Solheim Cup player. “I was pushing it, pulling it; so I called Di and she gave me a few tips. I changed the stance a little bit and I just trust it. I changed my grip and my shoulders to line up with the target.

“My start today was like, birdie, birdie, par, birdie; so I thought, ‘Wow, three birdies in four holes. That’s good!’”

Sanchez was pleased to make the cut this week as she is the current leader of the LET’s “18 Finest” competition.

In the competition, two holes are selected from nine courses on the 2006 LET schedule to create a fantasy round of 18 holes; but in order to win the first prize of 35,000 euros; a player must make the cut in each participating event in the tournament.