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Pak, Welch lead chase for Futures title

With steady, bogey-free play in Saturday's second round, Korean professional Jin Young Pak moved into the lead with 18 holes to go in the Duramed Futures Tour's Alliance Bank Golf Classic.

And with a spectacular burst at the end of her afternoon, Kim Welch emerged from a pack of challengers to within one shot of Pak at day's end.

Pak shot a 66, five under par, at the Links at Erie Village to complement her opening-round 67 to post 133, nine under par. And it could have been much lower.

Hitting every green in regulation on the back nine, Pak could only make birdies at 11, 12 and 16, missing short birdie putts four other times along the way. This came after early birdies at holes 1 and 4 put Pak out in front.

Much is at stake for Pak, who currently sits at eighth on the Futures Tour money list with $23,355. If she can win here at Erie Village, Pak, with the first prize of $12,000, would jump into fourth place. The top five Futures Tour finishers at season's end earn their LPGA Tour cards.

On that same money list, Welch is 11th, with $18,699. A win wouldn't propel her into the top five just yet, but she's as famous as anyone on the Futures Tour, and her future is secure.

Back in December, Welch won the Golf Channel's "Big Break Ka'anapali" television program, a program whose episodes did not finish airing until July 8. She beat 11 other golfers, including Ithaca native (and fellow Futures pro) Lori Atsedes.

The rewards included $10,000 cash, an exemption for an LPGA tournament in September and fees paid for all Futures events in 2009, an endorsement contract from Adams Golf (an equipment company) and a BMW Z-4 Coupe, valued at $50,000.

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