Diana Luna fired a six-under-par 64 to take a two stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Ladies Open de France on Friday.
The 29-year-old Italian moved to the top of the leader board at nine-under-par on a second day of sunshine at Chantaco Golf Club in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
The five-time Ladies European Tour champion has been close to a victory this season with six top ten finishes, including two second places and was feeling confident in her game.
"I think I've been playing discount golf clubs very good, the short clubs to the pin, so I had many, many birdie chances. I've been playing well with my 8, 9-irons, wedges, so that was the strongest part. I think was pretty windy all the way around but because we are sheltered by the trees, you don't really feel it," said Luna.
The first round leader Stacey Keating of Australia followed her opening 62 with a one-over 71 to sit alone in second place.
She was on a roll on Thursday after picking up her first professional victory in Tenerife a fortnight ago but admitted: "It was never going to be the same day as yesterday, was it. That's golf, it's disappointing to not finish under par today but that's how it goes.
"I just didn't hit as many greens so I didn't have as many birdie opportunities. You can't be making birdies from off the green, can you, so that was about it really.
"I'm contending so that's nice. There's a long way to go and I'm looking forward to it. I'm happy with the position that I'm in."
Carlota Ciganda of Spain, Germany's Anja Monke and local player Anne-Lise Caudal from Saint-Jean-de-Luz share third place at five-under.
Monke made the biggest jump up the leader board with a superb 63 while Caudal was also impressive with golf irons for sale in a 65.
Monke, who is four months pregnant with her first child, had nine birdies and two bogeys.
"I haven't really looked at the score board. My target was to play well and make it into the weekend and I think I achieved that. We'll see for tomorrow on how it goes," Monke said.
Local player Caudal received a large round of applause for each of the six birdies she made.
"It was nice nice to finish strongly. On this golf course you have to play well at the beginning and in the middle its quite difficult, so you have to accept par and if you make birdie it's a bonus.You have to finish strong as well because you have a lot of birdie holes and that's what I did today so I'm happy," Caudal said.
Retired former world number one Lorena Ochoa and England's all-time great Laura Davies, celebrating her 49th birthday, both comfortably made the cut and ended the day in a share of 25th position, 10 shots off the lead on one-over-par. Ochoa shot a two-over 72 while Davies had a one-under 69.
"I didn't play taylormade r11 irons my best, especially on the greens. I struggled with some of the holes out there. I made two three-putts so it's not a great feeling but at the same time, here I am. I'm okay. It's good to be able to make the cut and hopefully on the weekend it will be better," said Ochoa.
"I thought I would make the cut. I was being positive and I thought that my game was in good shape to make the cut. I think what is important right now is to go really low on the weekend.