TARLAC – Sattaya Supupramai pounced on Kim Joo Hyung’s late miscue to top the PGT (Philippine Golf Tour) Asia Qualifying School with a closing three-under 69 at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here yesterday.
The duo headed for a thriller of a finish after Kim birdied No. 15 to force a tie with the Thai at 14-under overall. But the young Korean cracked under pressure and made a wet double-bogey on the par-5 16th, enabling Supupramai to earn the low medal honors with a 274 aggregate in the 72-hole elims organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Kim settled for a 72 and ended up tied for second with another Thai, Nattawat Sujavanakorn, shot a 69, at 276.
A total of 44 players earned cards for the second season of the newest circuit put up by ICTSI, which gets going next week, also at the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed Tarlac layout.
Jaturon Duangphaichoom rallied with a 68 to salvage a 294 and tie Aussie Clayton Bridges (75), compatriot Puk Pradittan (72) and Americans Brett Munsoin (74) and Cory Oride (80) for the last five slots in the tournament proper. They will join the top 50 in last year’s PGTA Order of Merit and the top 30 in the PGT OOM
Falling short by one at 295 were local bets Russell Bautista (75) and Anthony Fernando (73) along with Nicholas Coxon (71), Thai Prin Sirisommai (72) and American Pete Vilairatana (73).
One behind Kim after 54 holes, Supupramai took charge with a 34 at the front but needed to toughen up in the stretch after a birdie on No. 12 to outlast his 18-year-old rival, who birdied Nos. 12 and 15 to draw level.
Sorachut Hansapiban carded a 70 to place fourth at 278 while another Thai Itthipat Buranatanyarat fired the day’s best, eagle-spiked 66 to tie American Sam Gillis and Damien Jordan of Australia, who shot identical 69s, at fifth at 279.
Finnish Janne Kaske finished eighth at 281 with a second 72 while Sydney Chung of the US shot a second 68 for ninth at 282 and South African Mathiam Keyser and Thai NIrun Sae Ueng tied for 10th at 283 after a pair of 71s.
The PGT Asia is geared towards offering golfers from Asia and other parts of the world another platform on which to play and at the same time promote the Philippines as a major golfing destination.