Marion Ricordeau maintained her position at the top of the leader board after the second round of the Dinard Ladies Open with a two under par 67.
The Frenchwoman reached five under par, two strokes clear of compatriot Jade Schaeffer and South African Iliska Verwey, both of whom also shot 67 on another day of perfect conditions, with hardly a breath of wind at Dinard Golf in Brittany, north-western France.
Ricordeau started strongly with a birdie on the par five second, after using her wedge to hit an approach shot to one metre from the flag.
The recent Terre Blanche Ladies Open champion then three-putted the fourth for bogey, but she took delight in holing a 10 metre putt for birdie at the sixth hole, which she had double bogeyed the previous day.
Another bogey on the par four eighth, which she three-putted, left the 25-year-old level for the front nine, before she picked up two shots at the par-four 10th and par-three 13th.
At the 10th, she struck an eight-iron approach to two metres before making the putt for birdie and then at the 13th, used a 5-iron to hit her tee shot to 10 metres from the pin.
"I'm happy with my round. My long game was much stronger and my short game was not as good as yesterday. But I'm more happy today than yesterday with my game. Today I hit around 15 greens," Ricordeau said.
On playing with the leaders in the final round, she added: "Tomorrow I am going to try and play my game. For sure I will watch what they are doing but I will try to be focused on what I'm doing and if I see that maybe I have to attack a bit more, I will do it and if not, I just try to keep playing like I did until now. Just try to focus on my game and not their game."
As the recent Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters champion on the Ladies European Tour, Schaeffer will be a formidable opponent. The 25-year-old from Paris won twice on the LET Access Series in 2010 – at the Dinard Ladies Open and Trophée Preven’s – before having wrist surgery in January last year.
She has returned to full-health as evidenced by her recent form at the LET’s Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, where she tied for fourth place. Despite feeling a little under the weather at the beginning of the week, Schaeffer continued that form with an opening round of 68 at Dinard but wasn’t satisfied and that evening, she worked on her swing to stop drawing the ball so much and to play with a fade.
In her second round at Dinard, she carded three birdies at the second, fifth and 10th holes and had a solitary bogey at the seventh, after playing two poor shots into and then out of a bunker.
One of the highlights was when she holed a chip shot from 40 metres and on her performance, she said: “I'm very happy because my game came back. Just because I have too much draw and today I wanted to play more with a fade. Today was better, going so close to the hole, but I missed so many putts. I am very because I am close to the leader, just two shots behind.”
Iliska Verwey is also just two strokes behind the leader and victory would be a huge achievement for the 23-year-old, who is a rookie professional on the Ladies European Tour.
She attended LET Qualifying School in January but missed the cut at the final stage and so holds only career money exempt status.
Should she be the highest placed player at the Dinard Ladies Open not otherwise exempt, she would earn a place in June’s Deloitte Ladies Open in Holland, which could open up a number of additional opportunities.
The South African Matchplay Champion fired four birdies and two bogeys on a second day of sunshine at Dinard, at the end of which the cut fell at five over par.