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    Huerva leads PGT qualifying; Murakami hanging on

    Dec 5, 2013
    Artemio Murakami, the 2010 Philippine Open champion, tries to hang on and claim one of 40 PGT slots at stake. 

    JOEY Huerva looks set to secure a place in the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour next season, while former Philippine Open champion Artemio Murakami is hanging on at joint 37th after three rounds of the Qualifying School on Thursday at Eagle Ridge’s Norman course in Gen. Trias, Cavite.

    The top 40 players after 72 holes earn playing rights in the PGT, and Huerva moved to the top of the table after carding an even par 72 for a 214 total.

    Arnold Villacencio had a 74 for second spot at 216 with 18 holes left to play.

    Huerva, tied with Villacencio at the halfway mark of the 72-hole elims, surged ahead with a 36 at the turn but bogeyed two of the last seven holes that negated his back-to-back birdies from No. 10.

    Rico Depilo fired one of the day’s two best scores of 70 while Albin Engino and Jun Rates shot identical 74s as they firmed up their bids for the coveted Tour cards for next year’s ICTSI PGT season with 219s.

    Paul Echavez and Cookie La’O aere at 220 after a 70 and 73, respectively, while Ramil Bisera matched par 72 for solo eighth at 221.

    Rene Menor shot a 73 for a 222, matching the total of amateur Keanu Jahns, who had a 76.

    Miguel Ochoa turned in a 74 for a 224 to move 11th with one round left in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and sponsored by ICTSI.

    Meanwhile, the battle for the last berth is expected to be fierce with Murakami at 236 after a 78. He was tied with Israel Bisera (73), Jet Mathay (76), Joeleo Torrecampo (77) and Fredo Casiao (78).

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    Four players — amateur Francis Morilla (77), Allan Remata (77), Joseph Suarez (78) and Jordan Mamaril (84) —  stood just a shot behind at 237.

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    Artemio Murakami, the 2010 Philippine Open champion, tries to hang on and claim one of 40 PGT slots at stake. 
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