DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Shanshan Feng birdied five of her first nine holes Thursday to shoot a 7-under 65 and take a four-stroke lead after the second round of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. The season-ending event on the Ladies European Tour began Wednesday and ends Saturday.
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.
Florentyna Parker, who shared the lead heading into the second round, shot a 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).
Masson needs a top-three finish to have a chance of denying Spain's Carlota Ciganda the Order of Merit crown. Ciganda matched Masson's 68, however, to be only two shots behind her on 6 under.
Defending champion Lexi Thompson (68) is another stroke back. The 17-year-old American survived blustery morning conditions in Dubai and made four birdies through a bogey-free 18 holes.
"If I can shoot 5 or 6 under on the weekend, that will put me in a good position," the 17-year-old American said. "You can make a lot of birdies out there and hopefully I've saved them for the weekend."
Feng, tied for the first-round lead with England's Parker, took control with seven birdies in the first 12 holes. The 23-year-old did then bogey the short fourth -- her 13th -- but came straight back with yet another birdie and parred her way in.
"My putting was really good," Feng said. "I think I have learned something from (South Korean) Inbee Park, who is our money queen on the LPGA Tour this season.
"I have played with her many times and know how well she putts," she noted. "My low score of the year was only 6 under and today I've managed to break that."
Johnson, twice a winner in Europe since turning professional six years ago, completed her 67 with an eight-foot birdie putt on the long 18th.
"I hit the ball great again, so am very happy with my work so far this week," said Johnson. "It's always nice to finish with a birdie. I missed a really good opportunity on 17, but hit a good shot into 18 and just kind of snuck it in the left edge.
"I knew when I was standing there if it went in I would be in the last group, so it gave me a little bit more to focus on," she added. "The last four to five months I've worked hard on my short game and especially on my putting really. We're going to a good place with it hopefully."
Masson, who was paired with Ciganda on the opening two days, said: "I just want to keep playing well, make some birdies and just try to win the tournament. If she plays really well I can't do anything about it."
Ciganda commented: "I think it's a big thing, but I'm just trying to stay in the moment and play my own game. I don't really think about the result or the Order of Merit."