The crowd at the top of leaderboard at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic went from seven players in the first round to three after two rounds.
Charley Hull of England, Megan Khang and Haru Nomura of Japan shared the lead at 8-under-par 138 after 36 holes on Friday in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
With wind gusts of 30 mph sweeping across the Ocean Club Golf Course, scoring was more difficult than in the opening round. Khang, 18, had the best round among the leaders with a 5-under 68. Nomura, 23, and Hull, 19, each shot 70. Nomura and Hull were two of the opening-round leaders.
One shot back were Sei Young Kim and Min Seo Kwak of South Korea, Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and 46-year-old Catriona Matthew of Scotland. Kim had a 68, Nordqvist a 69, Kwak a 70 and Matthew, also one of the first-round leaders, a 71.
Khang, a 5-foot-1 rookie, is playing in her first LPGA tournament this week. She eagled the par-5 fourth hole and had four birdies and a bogey.
"It was such a grind," Khang said. "To come out with 68 is incredible. Can't wait for the weekend."
Khang tied for sixth at the qualifying school in December to secure her tour card.
"I think my game's at a good place right now and I definitely think I can hold my own," Khang said. "I've played in the Open a few times and they're all there, all the pros are there, even like the best amateurs make it there. So I think I can hold my own and it's going to take a while for it to sink in after two days."
Hull followed her opening 68 with a 3-under 70.
"I've never played the wind, or the golf course with that wind before," Hull said. "It was a completely opposite direction. So it was good fun to play in that direction. I like it in that direction actually. ... Just got to keep patient out there."
The wind didn't bother Cristie Kerr, who equaled the tournament record with an 8-under 65. She moved into a tie for 13th after opening with a 77.
"After yesterday, it wasn't looking good and very difficult day and I just came out and just did it," Kerr said.
Top-ranked Stacy Lewis moved three shots behind the leaders in a tie for 10th after firing a 68 in the second round.
"I actually probably hit the ball a little bit better (Thursday) than I did even (Friday)," Lewis said. "But today just got up and down on the par 5s and made a few more putts."
Michelle Wie, whose hand was stung by a bee during the opening round, was at 3 over through 36 holes and missed the cut by one stroke.