Jutanugarn, Kim share early lead in Hawaii

Michelle Wie

LPGA TOUR: In Kapolei, Hawaii, Ariya Jutanugarn and In-Kyung Kim each birdied their final hole to share the lead halfway through the second round of the LPGA Lotte Championship.

Su-Yeon Jang, of South Korea, looks at her hand while standing with caddie Jeong Sang, left, before teeing off on the first hole during the third round of the Lotte Championship LPGA golf tournament Friday, .

27 year old, who weathered through a wet pro-am on Tuesday afternoon at the Ko Olina Golf Club, is off to a sensational starter enter the LPGA's eighth event of the season.

She is three shots clear of Canada's Alena Sharp and American Cristie Kerr, who shot a scorching 10-under 62 for the round of the day. She's tied with Inbee Park and Brooke Henderson, who, after finishing in the top 10 eight out of her first nine weeks in 2016, has only notched one top-10 finish so far in 2017.

Ko's 76-week reign as world No.1 has been under threat for most of the season by both world No.3 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and third-ranked So Yeon Ryu (South Korea).

Minjee Lee, the defending champion, fired a 4-under-par 68 on Friday and sits T15.

The Kiwi jumped 34 spots on "moving day" in Hawaii, continuing her rapid turn in form after a poor start to the tournament - shooting 73 on day one. She was just one back after sinking a 15-footer from the fringe on the 16th.

For the second straight day, a morning tee time was a huge advantage.

Michelle Wie, the 2014 Lotte champion, made the cut on the number. When the wind stopped, thunder, lightning and rain followed.

"I had a great feeling for my shots and putting today", she said.

Lewis birdied four of her first five holes to get to 8 under early. The two-time LPGA Player of the Year is winless in her last 69 starts - and eight under on Ko Olina's front nine this week.

Englishman James Heath's 4-over 77 was unremarkable except for his experience on No. 17, where the former Augusta State golfer chose to remove his pants, shoes, and socks to play a chip out of shallow water in shirt, cap, and underwear.