Dutch nears first PGT triumph
Dutchman Guido Van der Valk birdied three of the last five holes then watched Jay Bayron stumble with three straight bogeys from No. 15 to move on the threshold of a breakthrough victory in the Philippine Golf Tour.
The Manila-based Van der Valk carded a 1-under-par 71 at the Faldo layout and surged ahead of Bayron, who landed at 76 following a 40 at the back, going to the last round of the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Challenge in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Sustaining the form that gave him back-to-back third place finishes in the TCC Invitational and the 100th Solaire Philippine Open, Van der Valk pooled a 54-hole 218 total, two up on Bayron.
Michael Bibat and American Nicolas Paez shared third spot in the P2.5-million event following a 73 and 74, respectively.
Reeling from a triple bogey on No. 16, Tony Lascuña hobbled with a 77 and skidded to joint fifth with Omar Dungca, who matched par 72, and Richard Sinfuego, who rallied with a 71, at 221.
Pre-tournament favorite Jhonnel Ababa tallied his third straight 74 and lagged behind at 222 in the kickoff leg of this year’s PGT Tour.
The 38-year-old Van der Valk, who is hoping to surpass his playoff loss to Lascuna and Korean-American Micah Shin in the Bacolod leg in 2016, attributed his strong showing to accurate putting. —ROY LUARCA
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