Feng Shanshan, who became the first player from mainland China to win a major on the LPGA Tour earlier this year, opened up a four-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Dubai Ladies Masters on Thursday.
At the Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club, the world No.6 and the highest ranked player in the field shot a seven-under par 65 to tally 13-under par 131 in the season-ending event of the Ladies European Tour.
England's Felicity Johnson made five birdies on her back nine, including one on the 18th, for a 67 to take solo second place at nine-under par 135.
Caroline Masson of Germany, the only player in the field who can upstage Money List leader Carlota Ciganda, scored a second consecutive four-under par 68 and was tied for the third place at eight-under par 136 with three others.
France's Joanna Klatten matched Feng's 65 as the low round of the day to move up to tied third place along with compatriot Gwladys Nocera (68) and American Cindy Lacrosse (69).
Ciganda kept pace with Masson with a 68 of her own that tied her for the eighth place at six-under par 138, one shot ahead of Bree Arthur, the best-placed Australian.
Two early birdies set the tone for Feng, and she never looked back after that.
"I have shot 66 several times this year, so yesterday, during the first round, I wanted to go lower than that but it did not work out," said Feng, winner of the LPGA Championship and Japan Open this year.
"So, I am really happy that I managed to get a 65 in.
"I played really well but I did feel the pressure on the first tee. But the two birdies on the next two holes calmed me down and I was all right after that. I hit some good shots and I putted really well."