Carmen Alonso of Spain carded seven birdies in a six-under-par 65 to take the clubhouse lead in the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open on Friday.

The 34-year-old from Valladolid sits at 10-under-par and one stroke clear of overnight leader Celine Herbin from France and Germany’s Caroline Masson.

However, Dutchwoman Anne Van Dam was making a strong run on 12-under after 13 holes.

Alonso, in her 14th year on tour, has long been regarded as one of the most naturally talented players in women’s golf and she has renewed self-belief this season, thanks to a virtual reunion with her former coach, Jonathan Yarwood, whom she contacted via Facebook in September last year.

She credits the video coaching, via Skype and Facetime, with helping her to claim her maiden professional title at the AXA Czech Ladies Challenge on the LET Access Series three months ago and she is flying to the United States on Wednesday to see Yarwood for the first time in 14 years, for 10 days of coaching.

Speaking after her second round at Club de Golf Terramar, Alonso said: “I’m happy with this round and to be here in this position, but also to be here in Spain, on this course, which is in great condition. My mum (Carmen) is here and all my friends. I have been playing well this year and I have been trying to work on my mental game and stay focused on what I need to do.”

Herbin (71) had a topsy turvy round which started with two bogeys and ended in similar fashion, although there was a magical spell in between.
Although she had made a gain at the sixth and dropped a shot at the seventh, she went birdie, eagle, par, birdie from the 12th, making her third eagle in two days at the 13th, where she hit a terrific 5-wood to within 18 feet of the pin from the rough and sank the putt.

“I didn’t begin well but I came back little by little,” she said. “It was a strong section where I went birdie, eagle, par, birdie and almost birdie again. Then I finished badly with two bogeys. If I’d had minus four or five, I’d be happy, but I’m not going to complain about being minus nine after two rounds. Yesterday I had a very good round that is difficult to repeat the next day, but I did my best and we will see. It’s a good position to be in.”

Masson (65) was also at nine-under and she commented: “I’m very happy with the score. It wasn’t the perfect round of golf and I still made a few mistakes but I kept it together nicely and played nicely.

“I think it’s one of those golf courses where you almost feel like you have a birdie chance on every hole. Once you get into a rhythm and hole a few putts you can make a lot in a row. They come in bunches. You don’t have to get off to a great start to shoot a good score because you have birdie chances on every hole. It’s funny how everybody has to find their rhythm.

“I love Spain. I went to Majorca a lot as a kid growing up and this reminds me of that, just the smell and the food. I’m enjoying my time and finding a good balance between taking it as a little bit of a break and enjoying the scenery but also doing my best in the tournament and trying to be in the mix on Sunday.”

Indian Aditi Ashok (68) is also in the hunt and pleased with her progress. “Today my putter was ice cold but it’s been okay. I’ve played a lot of golf in the last few weeks so I’m sure it will come tomorrow or the day after,” she said.