Melbourne: World No.1 Lydia Ko was in a three-way share of the lead at the halfway stage of the Australian Women`s Golf Open at Royal Melbourne on Friday.
New Zealander Ko was joined at six-under 140 by Thailand`s Ariya Jutanugarn and Korean world No.20 Jang Ha-Na after 36 holes.
Jang`s 69 was the only sub-70 round on a day when the weather and the toughening course took their toll on the golfers.
Ko was spectacular in parts, firing an eagle on the par-four 15th by holing out with a nine-iron from 124m.
But the occasional bogey from Ko kept the chasing pack in the mix.
Only once at the 2012 Canadian Women`s Open has Ko held or shared the lead after the first two rounds of an LPGA Tour event and gone on to win.
Jang, a multiple winner in Asia, is already making her mark in her maiden LPGA Tour season, and gave up just two bogeys in Friday`s round.
"I think only very simple thinking, fairway and green and then two putts and that`s it, no more thinking," Jang explained.
Ariya three-putted the first hole, but ignited her round with a long eagle on the par-five 10th to shoot a 71.
Rising English star 18-year-old Charley Hull was outright fourth at four under 142, two shots behind the leaders.
Overnight leader South Korea`s Lee Il-Hee fired an 82 in her second round to only scrape in one shot inside the five-over-par cut line.
Australian veteran Karrie Webb battled to make the cut.
The world No.9 made a par up the last to shore up her weekend berth, although she is 11 shots from the lead and with her title defence in doubt.
"At this stage I`m not thinking about a result. I`m thinking about bringing on to the course what I`m doing in practice," Webb said
Among those who missed out on the halfway cut were past winners Yani Tseng and Britain`s Laura Davies.