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Thai leads qualifying

TARLAC – Pasavee Lertvilai put on a blazing windup to fire a 69 then pounced on John Michael O’Toole’s wet triple-bogey on No. 16 to grab a two-stroke lead in the third round of the PGT Asia Tour (PGTA) Qualifying School at the softened Luisita Golf and Country Club course here yesterday.

The Thai grabbed the lead at 10-under 206, bolstering his bid for low medal honors while virtually securing a card in the PGT Asia Tour firing off with the Aboitiz Invitational Tuesday at Manila Southwoods.

O’Toole, who took a five-stroke lead with a bogey-free 63 Thursday, struggled after birdying No. 3 as he dropped strokes on Nos. 8 and 11 then holed out with an 8 on No. 16 for a 76. He slipped to second at 208 but also assured himself of a spot in the inaugural regional circuit put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. featuring seven legs offering $100,000 purse each with the eighth stop lined up as a $300,000 event.

Keanu Jahns and Anthony Fernando likewise closed in on the coveted PGTA slots with the former carding a 71 to move to third at 210 and the latter shooting a 69 to join first round co-leader Seung Jae Maeng of the US, who fumbled with a 74, at 211.

Swede Fredrik From, who matched Maeng’s 68 in the opening round of the 72-hole championship which drew 112 qualifiers from 17 countries, also wavered with a 73 and slid to sixth at 212 while Korean Hwan Joo You and Indonesian Joshua Wirawan pooled identical 213s after a 67 and 70, respectively.

Thai Wisut Artjanawat, a multiple winner in other regional circuits, also zeroed in on a PGT Asia Tour slot with a 69 for a 214 for joint ninth with Aussie David Gleeson (69), American Micah Shin (73) and local bet Rey Pagunsan (73).