Sung Hyun Park and Ariya Jutanugarn - the LPGA's two top-ranked players - were among four sharing the lead after two rounds of the KEB Hana Bank Championship in South Korea.
Park shot a four-under 68 and No.2 Jutanugarn was even better with a 67 on Friday for two-round totals of eight-under 136 at the Sky 72 Ocean Course in Incheon.
American Danielle Kang and Charley Hull (England) both fired 69s and also landed on eight-under with the Korean duo at the halfway point of the tournament.
First-round leader Nasa Hataoka of Japan slipped to a 73, but was only two strokes off the lead along with former world No.1 Lydia Ko.
Australia's world No.7 Minjee Lee was a shot further back at five-under in outright seventh after a contrasting 71 which featured four birdies and three dropped shots.
Su Oh was even for the tournament in a share of 19th after back-to-back 72s while fellow Australians Katherine Kirk and Sarah Jane Kirk were again unable to break par, although they improved on poor opening rounds.
Kirk had a three-stroke improvement with a 73 while Smith shaved four shots off her 78.
The KEB Hana Bank tournament is the first event in the swing through Asia with stops in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China.