Prammanasudh Takes Charge

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Futures TourDECATUR, Ill. -- The side bets are getting steep, so Stacy Prammanasudh has special incentive to beat good pal Lisa Strom in the Michelob Light Futures Charity Golf Classic presented by Miles Chevrolet.
 
Prammanasudh, of Enid, Okla., shot a 2-under-par 70 in the second round to hold a one-stroke lead at 138 (-7) over Strom of Huntersville, N.C., Stephanie George of Myerstown, Pa., and Erika Wicoff of Hartford City, Ind. That trio finished the day tied for second at 6-under 138.
 
'Im leading our (personal statistical) tally this week, and yesterday, I was up a dollar,' said Strom, whose daily dollar challenge with Prammanasudh is worth a buck each to the leader of putts, birdies and greens hit in regulation.
 
But dollars and bragging rights aside, dont be fooled by the serious nature of this weeks $60,000 competition at the Futures longest-running tournament, now in its 19th year. The Oklahoman wants her second professional win this season, especially with her father serving as her caddie on Fathers Day. Now ranked No. 4 on the Futures Tour Money List, Prammanasudh hopes to make another move toward securing her LPGA Tour card as one of the top-five money winners by seasons end.
 
'Its obviously a very scoreable golf course,' said Prammanasudh, who finished the second round with five birdies on the front and two bogeys on the back nine. 'But today, I couldnt miss on the front nine and I couldnt make anything on the back.'
 
Strom, Wicoff and George all have their eyes set on earning their first professional win. Last week in Ohio, Wicoff finished tied for seventh. In late March, Strom finished second in the Futures event in Sebring, Fla. Missing three cuts in nine events this year with a season-best tie for 18th, George wants to finish strong on Sunday. She fired rounds of 69 for the last two days at the par-72, 6,432-yard Hickory Point Golf Course.
 
'Im so close to being where I need to be to win,' said Wicoff, who, along with Strom and Prammanasudh, is a non-exempt member of the LPGA Tour. 'Today was a pretty scrappy round and my confidence is up. I just need to play like it.'
 
Wicoff drained 15-foot birdie putts on both holes 4 and 5, and sunk a three-foot birdie at the 15th today, but bogeys on holes 10 and 15 erased her hard work on the front nine. The former University of Indiana player saved par from eight feet on No. 17, and again from 12 feet on the 18th to prevent losing any more ground heading into Sundays final round.
 
'Im hanging in there,' she said. 'I hit one shot today that was left of left ' that was in its own land.'
 
Strom competes off-course with Prammanasudh in everything from bowling and tennis to chipping challenges. She even went with the former University of Tulsa All-American to a 'cardio-kick' exercise class and yoga class before they teed off in the afternoon of todays second round.
 
'Sunday will be a fun day because Stacys a good friend, but well be serious,' said Strom, who has asked Prammanasudh to be in her wedding this December. 'I want to win, but Im really trying to think about hitting good shots and staying in my own world instead of letting other peoples games affect how I play.'
 
One of the Futures Tours longest hitters, Stroms chances are good this week on a soggy golf course that is playing long from rains earlier in the week. Fairway roll is minimal and the greens are holding approach shots, which gives long hitters better-than-usual opportunities.
 
But Prammanasudh says shes back on track after two weeks of trying to qualify for LPGA Tour events and coming up short. Shes worked out a problem with her driver. She knows what she needs to do to win again.
 
Sure, a side bet for ice cream is incentive and a win for her dad on Fathers Day is motivation. But a win on the Futures Tour this week is worth $8,400, which helps earn the ultimate prize when the LPGA hands out five cards in August.
 
Seventy-eight players made the 36-hole tournament cut at 148 (+4).
 
Fridays weather-delayed first round was completed early this morning, with 20 players finishing their round prior to the start of the second.
 
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