The reigning champion Line Vedel from Denmark

Former European No.1 Gwladys Nocera shot a four-under 68 on Friday to join the defending champion Line Vedel of Denmark in a share of the lead after the second round of the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open presented by Respect.

First-round co-leader Vedel added a one-under 71 to her opening 67 to end tied at six-under after a second day of scorching conditions at Golf Resort Talé near Brezno. Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth was two strokes back on four-under after a 69.

Playing in temperatures of 30C with barely a breeze, Nocera fired five birdies and a bogey on the mountainous Gray Bear Golf Course.

The 38-year-old Frenchwoman said: “I just played well. I hit 17 greens and I’m hitting the ball better than yesterday so I really tried to stay patient. This course is really demanding, physically and mentally.”

While several players struggled with the heat and the steeply inclined fairways, Nocera took the conditions in her stride.

“You’ve got to drink a lot of water. If you have energy drinks and it works for you, it’s good. Normally I drink water and eat a little bit frequently. I try to stay in the shade, which is hard, because there are not many trees around. I’ll try to stay patient and not get mad, because it’s a waste of energy,” she said.

The 2008 LET Money List winner Gwladys Nocera from France

Vedel, who won her maiden title by two strokes from Caroline Masson at the venue 12 months ago, was also managing her physical fitness, despite suffering from a bad back.

“I swim quite a lot when I’m here. It’s so warm that I don’t feel like going for a run but I stretch a lot and drink vitamin water. You need to eat and when it’s this warm I don’t really feel like eating,” said the 24-year-old from Denmark.

Vedel mixed five birdies with four bogeys, but lamented: “I had so many chances but missed quite a lot. I hit some bad shots in between and made some bogeys so it was up and down. I’m happy I was under par.”

Lennarth was also delighted with her 69 after struggling with her driver for most of the round and missing the fairways left off the tee. The Swedish rookie said: “Driving is normally my strength, but this week it’s my weakness. I would say that I’m happy with my round, especially after yesterday when I struggled the first 15 holes and birdied the last three holes. I missed the ball left a lot but it was much better today.”

First round co-leader Nikki Campbell’s second-round 78 was 11 shots worse than her opening 67, but the Australian LET rookie was still only seven shots from the lead in a share of 19th.

The current ISPS Handa Order of Merit leader Charley Hull was looking precariously close to the cut line after going out in six over par, but birdied her last three holes for a four-under back nine to finish two shots inside the cut at three-over-par.