DUTCHMAN Guido Van der Valk birdied two of the last three holes to salvage a 72 and take the provisional lead in the first round of the Philippine Golf Tour Qualifying School on Tuesday at Splendido Taal Golf Club in Tagaytay.
Van der Valk went three over after 10 holes but birdied the par-5 11th and had a birdie-par-birdie finish for nines of 38-34, two shots better than Dino Villanueva.
Thirty players have yet to finish their rounds at posting time.
Villanueva turned in a 74 to lead the morning group with Raul Minoza, Jet Mathay and Belem Alarcon matching that two-over output in the afternoon flight. Korean Hong Soon Hyup and Japanese Toru Nakajima each had a 75 to likewise stay in early contention for berths in the Tour proper.
Albin Engino and Japanese Tomokazu Yoshinaga shot identical 76s as the starting 120-player field struggled in tough playing condition.
Former Philippine Open champion Artemio Murakami groped for form and came up with an 80.
After 36 holes, the field will be trimmed to 60 including foreign entries, with the top 30 and 10 foreign bets after four rounds gaining cards for the 2013 ICTSI-PGT circuit.
Johvanie Abaño, who topped last year’s Q-School, shot a 77 and wound up in a tie with Park Jun Song, Rene Menor, Freddie Balisaga and amateurs Lloyd Go and Lawrence Celestino.
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.