WE can all learn something from Gary Player. While many of us have skin that doesn’t really fit our body anymore and end up making groaning, creaking grunts when we bend down to pick up a jam doughnut, the Black Knight’s daily routine of press-ups, squats and lunges, allied with a purifying diet of twigs, soil and cleansing elixirs, has left him as fit as a buffed up fiddle at the sprightly age of 81.

For Georgia Hall, meanwhile, the odd pearl of wisdom from this redoubtable South African has clearly left her golf game in rude health too as she bolstered her assault on the RICOH Women’s British Open title here at soggy Kingsbarns.

The downpours kept on coming from those ever-present, heavily laden clouds that are so now sodden they must have moss growing on the inside of them but Hall illuminated affairs with a five-under 67 for a nine-under 135 as she finished two shots behind the halfway leader, In-Kyung Kim

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A couple of weeks ago, Hall enjoyed a round in the company of the aforementioned Player during a Pro-Am at Wentworth and the 21-year-old from Dorset certainly enjoyed the company of the nine-time major champion.

“I got lucky to be able to play 18 holes with him,” said Hall, who was a winner on Scottish soil back in 2013 when she landed the Ladies British Open Amateur crown at Prestwick.

“He told me a few things. One which stuck was taking a pad with me and writing down how many times I get up-and-down from 100 yards.

“He talked a lot about the short game while telling me never to feel sorry for yourself and never give up. Those were the big things for me.”

Hall, who has been juggling competition on both the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA circuit this season and is set for a Solheim Cup debut in a fortnight, made her intentions clear early with a four birdie salvo from the second to the fifth.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a four in a row at a tournament,” said Hall, who has had two top-four finishes on the European circuit this season and a top-10 on the other side of the Atlantic.

While Hall made most of her profitable gains on the front-nine, Lexi Thompson, the world No 2, produced a telling thrust on her inward half as she reeled off five birdies on the spin from the 10th en route to a 68 which left her lurking menacingly alongside Hall heading into the weekend.

A couple of three-putt bogeys at the third and the fourth didn’t get the day off to the best of starts but Thompson’s back-nine blitz – she romped home in 30 blows – put a much better complexion on proceedings.

If Hall was waxing lyrical about a Black Knight, then Thompson had her own White Knight in the shape of her local caddie, Kevin McAlpine.

If he wasn’t giving her lines, yardages and reads then he was swatting away the bee that buzzed around Thompson’s head on the 15th.

“It sounded massive, I didn’t see it but I heard it,” she reported. “But Kevin has been a huge help here.

“He’s been spot on with every line off the tee and with where I should land it on the green. And he knows these greens like the back of his hand.”

Kim was out in the worst of the weather as the rain began to hammer down later in the day.

Despite the dismal drooking, the 29-year-old, a six-time winner on the LPGA Tour , stood firm and she burnished her spirited 68 with an eagle on the 11th where she clattered a 5-wood off a tricky, downhill lie into the centre of the green.

“It was an unexpected eagle,” said Kim, who has won two titles in the last couple of months. At least the desperate conditions didn’t rain on her parade. “I really enjoy playing out here,” she said clasping a cup of warming tea. “Even in the rain. It wasn’t the worst. I think Liverpool (in the 2012 Open) was the worst I’ve ever played in.”

Ally McDonald recovered from a bogey on her first hole and posted her second 68 in a row to sit in fourth with Mo Martin, the Women’s British Open champion in 2014, a stroke further back on seven-under.

Korea’s Jenny Shin highlighted her topsy-turvy 68 with a hole-in-one on the 14th. A double-bogey on the 17th demonstrated golf’s fickle fortunes as she finished on a five-under total.

Michelle Wie, the overnight leader, endured a trying day and slithered down the order after a turbulent 76 left her on a four-under aggregate with the impressive Irish amateur, Leona Maguire.

A double-bogey on the 17th, where she plunged her approach into the burn, was followed by another leaked shot on 18 as Wie signed for a score 12 strokes higher than her course record 64 on Thursday.

It was just one of those days for Wie. “I felt I hit a lot of good putts that looked like they were going in,” she lamented.

“I just didn’t get that momentum going. Thankfully today is not Sunday and I still have two more rounds to go. I’ll keep fighting

“I was getting a little impatient coming in and just tried to force it a bit on 17. It’s a lesson learned.”

In this game, you’re always learning.