(Grenoble, France 31 October 2002) Eleanor Pilgrim from Wales and Gwladys Nocera from France share the lead on nine under par after the second round of the Ladies European Tour qualifying school after a day of unbroken sunshine at the foot of the French Alps at the scenic Golf Grenoble Charmeil.

Nocera – inspired by Monnet

Having prepared for her round on a floodlit driving range, Nocera rattled off four straight pars before knocking in an eagle at the par five fifth after a stunning approach to six feet with a five wood.

Despite a bogey after a poor drive at the sixth, the 27-year-old from Vichy made amends with a tap-in birdie at he seventh. Another poor drive at the ninth cost another dropped shot and she turned in one under par 36.

A simple two putt at the 11th from 20 feet saw her make the easiest of birdies, but the driver let her down again at the 16th, resulting in another bogey. But the Frenchwoman birdied the two closing holes to take the lead.

“It was really cold this morning and to be honest I didn’t hit the ball that great, but I putted well all day,” said Nocera, who admitted that she was inspired to try qualifying school by compatriot Marine Monnet.

“I’m surprised I’m up there at the top, I didn’t think I could shoot this low, but I have been working on my putting a lot recently and it’s paying off.

“Marine has been a great help, I love her style of game and she has a great attitude and I love that.”

Hyett – confident Aussie

“I’m very happy with that,” said Hyett, a former student at the Victoria Institute of Sport, who decided to wake her parents at 3am to tell them the news!

“I wasn’t that nervous out there and I was hitting it so good and I never looked like missing a putt all day.

“Hopefully I can continue and my immediate ambition is to make my card and for my first year on Tour, realistically, I’ll be aiming for a top 30 in the order of merit.”

The first cut of the week fell at eight over par and among the players who will not gain a card for next year is Naima Ghilain from Belgium, who won Tour school at Aroeira last year.

Friday’s third round will see the field cut to the top 50 players and ties. The top 30 players and those tied will gain a category seven full exemption and those remaining will receive a category ten conditional card.