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    Dutchman still on top; Arancon leads Filipinos   

    Mar 6, 2013

    GUIDO Van der Valk of the Netherlands fired a five-under 67 on Wednesday to tighten his grip on the top spot and lead the march of players into the second half of the Philippine Golf Tour Qualifying School at Splendido Taal Golf Club in Tagaytay.

    Only the top 60 and ties move on to the third round and Japan’s Toru Nakajima made sure he advanced, grabbing second spot by matching Van der Valk’s 67, while Belem Arancon emerged as the best placed local player after a two-over 74.

    Van der Valk, who had an opening 72, was at 139 and Nakajima stood at 142. Arancon was nine strokes behind at 148.

    Japan's Tomokazu Yoshinaga was also at 148, while Arnel Enema and Dino Villanueva were a stroke behind after shooting 71 and 75, respectively. Raul Minoza turned in a 76 for a 150.

    Amateur Chris Mamaril matched par 72 to force a three-way tie with Paul Echavez, who made a 73, and Jude Eustaquio, who had  a 74, at 151, while Lino Retuerto and Rene Menor were tied at 152 after a pair of 75s.

    Last year’s top qualifier Johvanie Abaño made a 76 for a 153, while at 154 were Wooram Suh (73), Phil Cho (76) and Jet Mathay (80).

    Former Philippine Open champion Artemio Murakami hardly improved with a 79 after an opening 80 but safely made it to the final two rounds at 159 for joint 41st.

    The top 30 local players and best 10 foreign bets after four rounds gain cards for the 2013 ICTSI-PGT circuit, which starts next week

    The qualifiers will join the top 40 players from last year’s Order of Merit ranking in this year’s circuit beginning with the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic on March 20 at Sherwood Hills.

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