Three Tied at the Top

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Futures TourLAKELAND, Fla. -- LPGA Tour veteran Carri Wood maintains a share of the lead going into Sundays final round of the $65,000 Lakeland FUTURES Golf Classic, posting a 1-under-par 71 today. But Wood, a co-leader in the first round, will have to push past a pair of hungry contenders if she hopes to earn her first professional title in eight seasons.
 
Second-year pros Cortney Reno of Grosse Ile, Mich., and Nicole Perrot of Vina del Mar, Chile, both played their way into the lead today with rounds of 65 and 66, respectively at Cleveland Heights Golf Course.
 
These young players have no fear, said Wood, 33, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. They just go out and rip it.
 
Indeed, they do. Reno, 23, picked the second round to fire her career low of 65 that included eight birdies and one bogey. She drained a 25-foot putt on the 12th hole and had only one other putt outside 15 feet. The former University of Michigan player used 25 putts and hit 13 greens for her seven-under-par performance on the 6,230-yard, par-72 course.
 
I think the wind made me more decisive hitting my shots today and I tried to be specific with my targets, said Reno. I want to be in this position so I can learn from it.
 
Perrot, 20, used her experience playing in a mens professional event last week in South America to gut out her 6-under-par 66 when most of the leaders backed up in the afternoon wind. Perrot was 2-over par in Santiago last week and missed the mens cut by one shot. Back with the FUTURES Tour today, she was right on target with 27 putts, eight birdies and two bogeys.
 
I didnt play college golf, so for me, all these years are like college, said Perrot, a non-exempt LPGA Tour member in 2003 who won the 2001 U.S. Girls Junior Championship and was runner-up at the 2001 U.S. Womens Amateur Championship. Im starting to feel more comfortable out here. For me, its all a mental transition.
 
Canadian Kimberly Adams of Tide Head, New Brunswick, fired a 67 to knot fourth-year pro Lisa (Strom) Fernandes of Huntersville, N.C., at 138 (-6) for second place. Fernandes carded her own 68 in an effort to earn her first professional title.
 
Ive had plenty of experience and this is where I need to be, said Fernandes, who posted six birdies, three bogeys and an eagle-3 on the par-five eighth hole with a chip-in from 40 feet.
 
Liz Earley of St. Catharines, Ontario, also eagled the eighth hole. The Canadian hit a driver and 11-wood 206 yards into the wind to set up a five-footer for her eagle-3. Earley posted a 1-over 73 and stands at 143 (-1) after 36 holes.
 
Naree Song of Seoul, Korea ' in her much-awaited pro debut ' shot a 2-under-par 70 in todays second round for a five-way tie at 145 (+1) heading into the final round. High School amateur Brittany Lincicome of Seminole, Fla., continued her steady play, posting rounds of 70-71 for a share of fifth at 3-under-par 141.
 
And Wood, hoping to regain her LPGA exempt status this season, held her ground as the Saturday moving day shuffled the leader board more than once. She didnt get ruffled when she double-bogeyed her second hole and was three-over par after five holes. Instead, she used her veteran patience and birdied holes 7, 8 and 9 all from within seven feet. A final birdie on the 11th with pars for the remaining holes kept Wood in the hunt.
 
Youve just got to grind it out and stay steady, she said. Anybody can come from six to seven shots back here. The greens are just in great shape.
 
Seventy-four players made the 36-hole cut at 150 (+6).
 
Sundays final round will begin at 8 AM from the first and tenth tees, with the leaders going off the first tee at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony is scheduled for approximately 2:30 Pm.