Beatriz Recari is interviewed by Hazel Irvine for BBC Sport

Beatriz Recari from Spain fired a five-under-par 67 on a beautiful morning at Royal Birkdale Golf Club to set the second round clubhouse target in the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

At three-under-par, she was quickly joined at the top of the leader board by South Korean So Yeon, who had a 70. Playing under sunny skies, in temperatures of 19C and light winds at 12 miles per hour, Recari made par at the first six holes before picking up birdies on the seventh and ninth to make the turn in 34. She then dropped a shot at the 10th but recovered with a birdie on 12 and then finished with three birdies in a row for a back nine of 33.

Recari, a two-time tournament winner on the LPGA in 2013, has struggled with hip and back injuries in 2014 which negatively affected her swing and her results have suffered. After spending Sunday coaching children at St Andrews, she even sprained her wrist over the weekend as she collected her luggage at Edinburgh Airport. However, it had healed by Wednesday and she felt that recent work with new coach Jorge Parada at home in Spain had paid off.

The 27-year-old from Pamplona said: “I was in such an undesirable situation or place, however you want to call it, that pretty much we just worked on getting the swing back, getting the positions back to neutral and back to a position where I could just trust it and hit the shots that I wanted to hit, which are high draws, which like I say, just really worked on basics. We didn’t try anything fancy.  We just worked on take away, backswing, release, follow-through, really basic stuff.  But I needed it, and that’s given me the confidence to be able to go out there and enjoy myself.

“I felt really confident off the tee, which I think is key on these kind of courses. It’s so important to put it on the fairway because that gave me the confidence to be more aggressive and be able to chase a couple of pins and chase some birdies.  I putted really well today especially, and coming in, finishing with three birdies is a good icing on the cake.”

Ryu double bogeyed the second but rallied with four birdies at the fourth, 10th, 11th and 18th. She and Recari continued to lead as Mo Martin of the United States, who opened with a 69, began her second round. Sun Ju Ahn posted a two-round total of two-under-par with a second round of 67, to tie Recari for the lowest round of the championship so far.

English amateur Georgia Hall, from Bournemouth, was the name to watch as she climbed the leader board in the afternoon.  With three birdies on the front nine, she was two-under-par at the turn and only one stroke behind the leaders.

South Korean Amy Yang was in the clubhouse on one-under-par, but first-round leader Ayaho Uehara, who opened with a 68, slipped back to level par for the championship after 13 holes.

Of the afternoon players, the recent Kraft Nabisco Championship Lexi Thompson made an unfortunate start as she took a 10 on the first hole after twice hitting out of bounds and then bogeyed the second. However, the powerful hitter from the United States pulled two back on the seventh and ninth holes to sit just within the projected cut mark, at +5 to those in a tie for 65th position or better by mid-afternoon.