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Zaragosa still way behind despite 69

MANILA, Philippines - Rupert Zaragosa birdied the first three holes at the back but scrambled to finish with a two-under 70 as he fell way behind two-day leader Tianlang Guan of China, who outgunned Thai Prin Sirisommai in a day of torrid scoring in the Asian Amateur Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand yesterday.

The pint-sized Zaragosa, who faltered at the finish for a 74 in the first round, held his ground this time, birdying No. 6 after back-to-back bogeys from No. 3, preserving a two-under card and a 36-hole haul of 144.

Still, he improved to joint 21st even as Guan bucked Sirisommai record 29 at the front with a pair of 32s for a 64 to pave his lead to five at 130 with two rounds left in the 72-hole championship.

The winner will get 2013 Masters invite to Augusta National Golf Club, while the champion and runner(s)-up will gain spots in International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship.

Sirisommai hit an eagle at the par-5 No. 2 to spark a birdie-binge of five straight from No. 3 for that 29. He added two more birdies at the back but bogeyed the last hole for that 65 and a 135.

Rico Hoey birdied two of the first four holes at the back but had two bogeys the rest of the way for a 72 as he dropped to joined 32nd at 147 while Lloyd Go hardly improved from an opening 80 with a 77 for a 155.

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Anton Arboleda, who emerged the best scorer for Team Phl, whose stint is sanctioned by the National Golf Association of the Phils., in the first round with a 73, holed out with a double-bogey on the ninth and wound up with a 75 as he fell to a share of 36th at 148.

John Kier Abdon skied to an 82 after a 79 and was way down in 90th at 161.

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