The 2010 British Open Ladies Amateur champion opened up a two stroke lead over Spain’s Mariana Macias Capuzzi, with Holland’s Marjet van der Graaff, Swede Viva Schlasberg and Scotland’s Heather MacRae two strokes further behind.
Tidy is using the tournament to warm up for the Ladies European Tour’s Qualifying School at La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain, in early January. She explained: “I want to go to Q-School in January and we do not have any tournaments at this time of the year, because of the bad weather. I thought it would be a good idea to get some experience with the pros. I played in Murcia but I missed the cut.
“I feel my game is ready and I have been working lately with my coach, mainly with my iron game. I did not expect to lead and I was expecting for a mediocre tournament but I had a good practice round. I guess now you could call me a favourite for the tournament but I think I should go round by round. Of course I would love for another two under tomorrow, but we'll see. It was a good day, but I dropped a couple of shots on the back nine and missed some birdie chances. It could have been better. The highlight was the 64 yard pitch for eagle on the second.”
The 19-year-old from Bolton near Manchester had an eagle three at the 444-yard par five and bogeyed the par-three fifth in an outward nine of one under 35. She carded three birdies and two more bogeys on the back nine.
Tidy expected conditions to be similar to Spain on the Portuguese island but was surprised with what she discovered.
“It is a nice course and I am used to this kind of rainy conditions, but I was not expecting such a hilly course, I thought it would be more like in Spain,” she added.
While Tidy was in pole position, Van der Graaff was still well within striking distance of a victory, which could ultimately result in her earning one of two Ladies European Tour cards for 2012.