Three-time champion Pak Se-ri of South Korea pushed past a quartet of rivals on Friday to seize the 36-hole lead at the LPGA Championship in Pittsford, New York.
Pak, winner of five major LPGA titles, shot a one-under-par 71 for a three-under 141 total on a difficult day for scoring on a Locust Hill Country Club course lined with deep, unforgiving rough for the second women's major of the year.
Tied one stroke back on 142 were 2010 U.S. Open champions Paula Creamer, who shot level par 72, 2008 U.S. Open winner Park In-bee of South Korea (70), 2010 U.S. Japan Women's Open winner Mika Miyazato (72) and Sandra Gal of Germany (71).
Six players were bunched another shot back at one-under-par 143, including former champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway.
Defending champion Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who won the title last year by 10 strokes, made the cut without a stroke to spare after a three-over 75 left her with a two-day total of 151.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)