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Thai golfers fill top 2 positions

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CARMONA, Cavite – A pair of Thai golfers are separated by only two shots, but at least a dozen players remain in contention following another day of hot scoring in the $1-million Resorts World Manila Masters yesterday at the Manila Southwoods.

Only four shots separate 11 players, making today’s final round a virtual shootout.

Sutijet Kooratanapisan of Thailand, 29, was the new leader at 16-under par following a 69.

Two shots behind was compatriot Phachara Khongwatmai who also had a 69 for 14-under.

At 13-under were Australia’s Terry Pilkadaris, Jbe Kruger of South Africa, and India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia and Jyoti Randhawa.

Miguel Tabuena and Antonio Lascuña each fired a 69 and remained six shots off the leader.

“Hopefully, I make my putts. That’s the only way to win,” said Tabuena, who made four birdies against a lone bogey.

“I could’ve done better (in the third round). I would’ve wanted to be closer to the lead but I missed some makeable putts. Made some big ones so I can’t complaint. I’m still within range, I just need to go sub-zero,” added Tabuena.

Tabuena is playing with an injured left wrist.

“I couldn’t move it talaga. It’s numb now I can’t feel it,” said Tabuena, adding that he’ll have it checked by doctors before today’s round.

The 45-year-old Lascuña, on the other hand, mixed six birdies against three bogeys in a roller-coaster round.

“Nag-isip kasi ako na home court ko kaya malaki chance,” said Lascuña. “Nagpa-practiuce ako dito tumi-tira ako ng five-under. Hindi mo alam baka mag 10-under ako tomorrow.”

“Naka 12-under ako dito two weeks ago… pustahan lang. May chance pa,” added Lascuña.

Five players are at 204, 12 under par, Sam Chien of the US, Hung Chien-yao of Taiwan, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Thailand’s Tirawat Kaewsiribandit and Vietnam’s Michael Tran, and five as well at 205, 11 under par including Sam Brazel of Canada, Korea’s Giwhan Kim, India’s Chikkarangappa S., Jihannes Veerman of the US and Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe.

Filipinos Jhonnel Ababa is at nine-under 207 while Bayron is at seven-under.

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