Golf

Feng leads at Dubai Ladies midpoint

Feng Shanshan from China
Shanshan Feng is the highest-ranked player in the Dubai Ladies Masters field.
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)

Shanshan Feng birdied five of her first nine holes Thursday to shoot a 7-under-par 65 and take a four-stroke lead after the second round of the Dubai Ladies Masters.

Feng, the highest-ranked player in the field, had three more birdies on the back nine at the Emirates Golf Club for a total of 13-under 131.

''My putting was really good today,'' Feng said. ''I felt a little pressure in the beginning, but after those two birdies on the second and third the pressure was off.

''I'm still on the same page as the start. My goal is just top five.''

Florentyna Parker, who shared the lead heading into the second round, shot a 2-over 74 to drop down the leaderboard.

Instead, Felicity Johnson (67) moved into second place, one stroke ahead of Caroline Masson (68), Cindy Lacrosse (69), Joanna Klatten (65) and Gwladys Nocera (68).

Defending champion Lexi Thompson (68) is a stroke further back. The 17-year-old American survived blustery early morning conditions in Dubai and made four birdies through a bogey-free 18 holes.

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''It was definitely a bit more windy, probably the most wind I've played in Dubai,'' Thompson said. ''But I hit it a lot better, although still didn't make as many putts as I wanted to.

''We'll see after tomorrow where I stand. You just have to focus on your own game. Hopefully, I've saved all my birdies for the weekend.''

Michelle Wie (73) is 12 shots off the pace and tied for 35th. She concluded her round with a double-bogey 6 on the ninth.

Carlota Ciganda, who leads the Order of Merit, shot 68.

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