Van der Valk catches Rates

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Guido Van der Valk saved a three-over card of 75 and caught Joenard Rates at the helm after three rounds of the ICTSI Villamor Philippine Masters at the Villamor Golf Club yesterday.

Van der Valk dropped both arms to his knees in frustration after chipping way past the hole on the par-5 No. 18 but returned a clutch 10-footer for birdie to seize a share of the lead as Rates fumbled with his par putt from shorter distance for a 77 marred by a double bogey on No. 17.

Van der Valk tied Rates at 212 while Marvin Dumandan put himself in title contention after a long while after squeezing in a 73 to join Jhonnel Ababa, who carded a 74, at 214.

Fidel Concepcion fired one of the day’s three best scores of 70 to move to joint fifth at 216 with Gerald Rosales and Reymon Jaraula, who matched par-72s, and Keanu Jahns, who had an uncharacteristic backside 45 for a 78.

After birdying No. 9 from long range to tie the two-day leader, the Fil-German went wild on his driving and tee-shots, limping with a triple-bogey 7 on No. 10, bogeying Nos. 12 and 16, yielding two strokes on the par-3 17th, and holing out with another double-bogey on the closing par-5 hole.

But four strokes behind, Jahns remained in the hunt for a Philippine Golf Tour breakthrough but will need a lot of work off the mound to revive his title hopes in the P2.5 million championship put up by ICTSI.

While Jahns struggled with his long game, Van der Valk found the greens a lot tougher, flubbing par putts on Nos. 4, 5 and 7 to fall four strokes off Rates, who traded two birdies against the same number of bogeys for a 36, at the turn.

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