Cho Leads Futures Tour


Futures TourALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Shes 19-years-old and blushes like a schoolgirl. Aram Cho is so young as a professional that her Futures Tour profile can only boast her lowest competitive pro round of 67.
Make that was 67.
The rookie from Seoul, Korea fired a 6-under-par 66 today to take the lead of the $75,000 Isleta Casino & Resort Gold Classic. Charging her way to 8-under-par 135, the shy and blushing teen heads into Sundays final round with a two-shot lead over Lindsey Wright. Wright, a native of Albury, Australia, fired a 3-under-par round today of 69 to move into second place at 137 (-6) after 36 holes at Isleta Eagle Golf Course.
Wright won once on the Futures Tour in 2003, following her spring graduation from Pepperdine University. In college, she was a four-time NCAA All-American and individual runner-up at the 2002 NCAA Womens Golf Championship. A non-exempt LPGA Tour member, Wrights pedigree is widely known and respected.
Chos young professional career, on the other hand, is still gaining momentum and statistical milestones. She admits to her own surprise at her current tournament position. But other Futures Tour players arent shocked at all by the teens performance.
She hits her irons so well and is a really good putter, said Futures Tour player Erin Kerr of Phoenix, who has played several rounds with Cho this season. Plus, Aram never makes mistakes.
Shes very solid from tee to green, said Futures player Stephanie Bell of Rochester, N.Y. Shes a very mature player to be 19 years old.
With the help of fellow Korean player Jimin Kang, who doubled as a translator when the teen asked for help, Cho said her ball striking was very consistent today. Each of her six birdies ranged in distance between three and nine feet.
I hit them close and was making them, she said through Kang. That gave me confidence.
Cho started her second round at 3 under par and charged into the lead with five consecutive birdies on holes 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. Her approach on the par-4 16th hole hit the flagstick and landed within 5 feet, which she knocked in for her final birdie in a bogey-free round.
Playing in the same group, Wright got a close-up view of Chos hot round.
When she strung together those five straight birdies, I was like Whoah! said Wright, who carded four birdies, all from 15 feet. I wasnt really thinking of chasing her. She just didnt miss at all.
First-round leader Kylie Pratt of Mackay, Australia, struggled all day on the greens, recording 35 putts for her effort on the par-72, 6,621-yard course. Pratt posted a 3-over-par, second-round score of 75 that included one bogey, two double bogeys and two birdies. She tumbled into a tie for 19th at 2-under 142.
But while Pratt was sliding, Futures Tour rookie Naree Song of Seoul, Korea, was surging, using the Saturday Moving Day as the perfect time to post a season-low score of 65. Song shot a 5-under 31 on the front nine on the strength of three birdies and an eagle-3 on the par-5 eighth hole. She added a 2-under-par performance of 34 on the back to move into third place alone at 138. Song hit 17 greens to record her first round this season under 70.
My goal was to shoot a number that would put me into contention on Sunday, said Song, who turned 18 on May 1st. The key for me today was patience. Sometimes when the putts dont drop, I lose confidence early.
Tied for fourth at 139 (-5) are Mee Na Lee of Seoul, Korea and Yvonne Cox of Charleston, W.Va.
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