World number four Minjee Lee is in contention for her second major title after taking a share of the halfway lead at the US Women’s Open.
Lee, who won last year’s Evian Championship, scored five under 66s and moved on to nine with American Mina Harigae.
Both of them are two shots ahead of Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and South Korea’s Choi Hye Jin in North Carolina.
England’s Bronte Law is four down on Pine Needles.
Lee had four of her six birdies in her first nine and recovered from her only ghost at 14 with birds at 15 and 16.
“My putting was pretty solid today, and even when I was in kind of tough spots I was able to get up and down,” she said.
“I just tried to take advantage of my birdie opportunities and that’s pretty much what I did.”
Harigae, whose first-round 64 was one off the US Women’s Open record, followed up with a two-under-par 69 that featured five birdies and a pair of bogeys as she bids for her first LPGA title and first top-10 finish in a major.
“Things got a little shaky there, but I was really happy with the way I hung in there and made some good birdies coming in,” says Lee.
Sweden’s Ingrid Lindblad, whose 65 opening was a championship record for an amateur, stayed on the hunt with a level par 71 that included three birdies and three bogeys.
She played alongside Swedish great Annika Sorenstam, winner of the 1996 US Women’s Open on the same field, but who missed the cut this time by 13 over.
Lindblad is in a part of fifth place with world number one Ko Jin-young of South Korea, whose four under 67s featured an eagle in the 15th pair-five.