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Pak vaults into lead with record round

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Lincoln, CA (Sports Network) - fired a tournament-record tying eight-under 64 Friday to grab the lead after two rounds of the Longs Drugs Challenge. Pak completed 36 holes at nine-under-par 135. First-round leader Sophie Gustafson posted a two-under 70 and stands one stroke behind Pak at eight-under-par 136. Michelle Ellis, Jamie Hullett, Suzann Pettersen and Wendy Ward share third place at five-under-par 139.

Pak bogeyed the first and 18th at Lincoln Hills Club during an opening-round 71. She began her second round on the back nine and drained back-to-back birdies from the 11th. She later hit a sand-wedge to 15 feet for birdie at the par-five 15th to help her make the turn at minus-four.

On the front side, she converted a four-foot birdie at the first. She followed with a long two-putt birdie at the next and made it three straight when she sank a two-footer for birdie at the third.

Her hot streak was halted with a bogey at the par-three fourth. She responded from that mistake by draining a 50-foot birdie putt at the seventh that got her back to seven-under. She followed by knocking a fairway-wood within 18 feet of the cup to set up eagle on the par-five eighth to grab first place.

"My swing feels great and I am hitting my driver really well," said Pak, who's 64 matched the 18-hole tournament record set by Kelly Robbins and Amy Fruhwirth in 1996 at the Twelve Bridges Golf Club. "Thursday was kind of a struggle off the tee. So I practiced in the afternoon after my first round. I feel much better now."

Pak, who has won three times this season and 21 times overall on the LPGA Tour, is still chasing her goal of finishing number one on the money list, but knows will be hard to catch.

"One of my goals every year is to try to be number one," said Pak, who trails Sorenstam by $404,878 on the money list. "My offseason goals are still there, but last week Annika made it harder (with her victory). I still have six more tournaments left, so there's still a chance."

Gustafson got on the board when she rolled home a 25-foot birdie putt at the third. She missed the green at the par-four fifth and that led to her lone bogey of the day.

She came right back with a birdie on the sixth and closed out her scoring when she drained a five-foot birdie putt at the 16th.

"I didn't play as half as good as I did on Thursday," said Gustafson. "I didn't hit many fairways, which meant that I couldn't reach any of the par- fives. That also made it much harder to get it close."

Karen Stupples fired a five-under 67 to climb into a share of seventh place. She is joined at four-under-par 140 by Patricia Baxter-Johnson, Beth Daniel, Tracy Hanson, Pat Hurst, Gloria Park, , Michele Redman, Rachel Teske, and Jung Yeon Lee.

Defending champion Cristie Kerr heads a group of nine players at three-under- par 141 after a round of three-under 69.

The cut line fell at three-over-par 147 with 80 players advancing to the final two rounds.

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