Orlando, Florida: Carlota Ciganda, who made a move up the leaderboard in the middle of her round, jumped into a share of the lead after 36 holes of the windy LPGA Tour Championship.
The 24-year-old Spanish golfer fired a five-under 67 on Friday to join first round leader Julieta Granada at seven-under-par 137. Paraguay`s Granada, a one-time winner on the US Tour, carded a one-under 71.
Ciganda is seeking her first win on the US Tour. She has four international victories, including three on the European Tour which named her rookie of the year in 2012.
"It wasn`t an easy day out there," said Ciganda of the breezy conditions at the Tiburon Golf Club course.
"It was pretty windy. I`ve been playing good the last couple of months and today my putting was really good. So I`m very happy with my game and really looking forward to the weekend."
Morgan Pressel shot a six-under 66 to vault into sole possession of third place at six-under 138. US Women`s Open champion Michelle Wie carded a 67 and is tied for fourth with Sarah Jane Smith (69) and Sandra Gal (71).
World number two Stacy Lewis struggled to a two-over 74 and she is tied for 15th with defending champion Feng Shanshan, of China, at one-under 143. Feng shot a three-under 69.
Lewis, world number one Park In-Bee (74) and 17-year-old Lydia Ko (71) are the only players who control their own destiny and can take home the season-ending $1 million Tour bonus with an outright win this week.
Ciganda began her round four shots adrift of first-round leader Granada and it took her some time to make up ground. She opened with four consecutive pars before rolling in birdies on the fifth and sixth holes.
Ciganda made the turn in style with two more birdies on nine and 10 to get her name into the mix.
Ciganda kept going strong on the back nine as she made two more pars on 11 and 12 before making her fifth and final birdie of the day. Ciganda finished solid with five straight pars from number 14 to join Granada on the top of the leaderboard.
Granada, who went bogey free in the first round, made her first bogey on the second hole Friday. She got that back with a birdie on the next hole and then made birdie on number four as well.
"I was happy. I made four birdies today, I hung in there and that`s all you can hope for," said Granada, whose lone victory on the LPGA came at the 2006 ADT Championship.