Italy’s Diana Luna

“I putted well and chipped well; I had an eagle on the par-five 15th where I chipped it in, which was nice. I started on the 10th with two bogeys but it wasn’t a problem!” she added.

It was a disappointing day for the defending champion, Gwladys Nocera of France, aiming to win the title for the third year running. She opened with a round of 77 to be 12 shots off the lead with nine other players.

Her compatriot Jade Schaeffer, a recent first time champion in Germany, carded a 73 to be eight shots behind Plucksataporn.

Luna, the glamorous 26-year-old, who now lives in Cannes, was delighted to be in the hunt for a second LET title.

The 2004 Tenerife Ladies Open champion has increased her driving distance by 10 metres in recent months and said: “I’m very happy with the way I’m playing. I think my swing had a very good basis last year but we have been working to increase the speed, which is very important, because I am hitting it a lot stronger this year.”