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Thai seizes lead as Japanese struggles

SILANG, Cavite – Thai Sadom Kaewkanjana surged ahead with a near-flawless 67 as overnight Japanese leader Yuto Katsuragawa struggled with a 75 in the third round of the 2017 Philippine Amateur Golf Championship at the Riviera’s Couples course here yesterday.

The eight-shot swing enabled Kaewkanjana to seize a three-shot lead at 212 going into the final 18 holes of the event held under the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart and Me
tro Pacific Investment Corp.

The erstwhile frontrunner dropped five shots in an eight-hole stretch starting from No. 8 and slid down to 215.

Young Korean Joo Hyung Kim carded a 73 for third with a 220 while Aniceto Mandanas matched par 72 for a 221 and Carl Corpus turned in a 73 for a 222.

Meanwhile, Fil-Japanese Yuka Saso produced another sterling round, a 69, to virtually wrap up the ladies crown with a 208.

Saso, 15, rode on a sizzling backside stint to open a commanding eight-shot lead over Korean Hee Ji Kim who had a 68.

Harmie Constantino was at 218 following a 72 while Thai Pajaree Anannarukarn was a 219 after a 75.

Another Korean, Ji Hyeon Lee, fumbled with a 77 and slid to fifth at 222 in a tie with Malaysian Nur Durriyah Damian, who carded a 73, while Hwang Min Jeong rebounded from an 81 with a 73 for a 230 and Lois Go shot a 75 for a 233.

Five behind at the start of the round, Kaewkanjana pressed his bid with opening back-to-back birdies, dropped a stroke on the sixth but rattled off four birdies at the back, spiked by a three-straight feat from No. 15.

In a flight behind, Katsuragawa held sway with a run of pars and a birdie on the seventh. But the 18-year-old newly-crowned NGAP National Doubles champion fumbled with back-to-back bogeys from No. 8. He kept the lead with a slew of pars at the back but reeled back with a bogey on No. 15 and lost the lead with a double-bogey mishap on No. 16. He needed to birdie the 18th to save a 75.