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Kim Leading the Way

Futures TourSUSSEX, Wis. -- Ju Kim knows she let a tournament slip away exactly one week ago. This Sunday, shes determined to close out the deal.
Same as last week and every week, said Kim, who shot a second-round 70 at the $70,000 Aurora Health Care Futures Charity Golf Classic to take a one-stroke lead at 140 (-4) going into tomorrows final round. I just want to play well. This time, I can do it.
Last Sunday at the Northwest Indiana Futures Golf Classic, the native of Seoul, South Korea missed the chance to enter a playoff on the 18th green. And as far as shes concerned, she has unfinished business to address at this weeks Wisconsin event at Ironwood Golf Course where she charged past Katie Bakken on the 17th hole today for a slim lead. That decisive par-5 hole gave Kim the advantage when she chipped in for birdie from 14 yards short of the green. Bakken, playing five hours from her Minneapolis home, wrestled a par from the hole with three putts from 50 feet.
It was a fun day, said Bakken, the first-round leader who posted a 2-over-par 74 today to tie Katherine Hull of Queensland, Australia for second place at 3-under 141. Maybe I was nervous because I havent led a tournament on the Futures Tour and it was a new place for me to be.
Bakken actually held a three-shot lead over Lisa Penske-Jensen of Bethlehem, Pa., after three holes, but the Pennsylvanian lost four shots on the front nine and finished the round with a 78 (+6) to drop into a tie for 14th at 147. Bakken drained a 15-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole to make the turn at even for the day and 5-under for the tournament, three strokes ahead of the field. One birdie and three bogeys on her back nine opened the door for Kim, who birdied three of her last eight holes, and Hull, who drained a seven-footer on the 18th green for a share of second place.
Im really happy with the way I hit the ball today, said Hull, 21, who completed her college eligibility and played the NCAA Division I Womens Golf Championship last week with Pepperdine University, then turned pro on Wednesday prior to the first round of the Aurora Health Care event. A friend of mine told me yesterday that I belong out here. I guess I do.
Hulls 2-under-par 70 on the 6,114-yard course could have been lower, but she missed solid birdie chances on holes 10 - 13. Two of those chances were from six feet and included a lip-out putt.
I didnt get frustrated, said Hull, an All-American at Pepperdine. This is what Ive worked hard for. This is exactly where I want to be.
Its also where Kim wants to be. She hasnt won since her two-win season in 2001. And its where Bakken, still seeking her first professional victory, also wants to be.
But first, Bakken and Hull will have to get past Kim, who has something to settle with herself for some unfinished business on a green just down the highway in Indiana.
Seventy-nine players made the 36-hole cut at 154 (+10).


Full coverage of the Northwest Indiana Futures Golf Classic