ADT: Pijit ties Pagunsan for Aboitiz lead

Fri 07 Aug 2015

ADT: Pijit ties Pagunsan for Aboitiz lead

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Manila, August 7: Thailand’s Pijit Petchkasem earned a share of the third round lead with former Asian Tour number one Juvic Pagunsan with a superb four-under-par 67 at the US$100,000 Aboitiz Invitational on Friday.
The 28-year-old Pijit, who is chasing his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory, enjoyed a blemish-free card to tie Pagunsan, who returned a 68, on 14-under-par 199 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club’s Legends course.
Multiple Asian Tour winner Angelo Que, playing on his home course, fired a sparkling 67 to lie one back of the leading duo while American Greg Moss is fourth, three back, on 202.
Pijit was delighted to sink four birdies on the card as the winds swirled around the course throughout the day.
“I’m happy to be bogey free. The winds were up and I could still manage to return an under par card. My tempo and short game have been working well all week, it’s been really good,” said Pijit, whose best finish on the ADT was a runner-up outing in Malaysia last season.
He knows he will face an uphill battle against two Philippines golfing heroes in Pagunsan, who won the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown in 2011, and multiple winner Que.
“They are amongst the best players on the Asian Tour but I think I have a chance tomorrow. I will need to concentrate on my own game and not be worried about them. Playing with them today was great as they are good company,” said the Thai, who arrived in Manila on the back of a top-10 finish in Taipei last week.
Smooth-swinging Pagunsan, who shot a stunning 62 on Thursday for the halfway lead, made five birdies in a row from the fourth hole but was disappointed to drop shots on the second and 14th holes.
“I’m not so happy as I missed a lot of putts,” said Pagunsan, who now plies his trade mainly in Japan. “I was misreading the greens but the good thing is that my ball striking has been good. I have 100% confidence about tomorrow.
“Pijit played good, especially when he was bogey free while we need to watch out for Angelo as he’s on his home course which is a big advantage for him.”
Que birdied three of the last four holes to stay within striking reach of the leaders. “I’m playing okay although my driving was a little bit off the mark. The wind was blowing all morning and it can be tricky out there,” said Que, who is a three-time Asian Tour winner.
“I’ve been rolling the putts pretty well this week and the greens on the Legends course are perfect. I’m hoping to have a run at the title tomorrow.”
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to 21 tournaments in 2014. A record 24 tournaments have been confirmed for the 2015 season.
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the final Order of Merit with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading third round scores
199: Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) 66-66-67, Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) 69-62-68
200: Angelo QUE (PHI) 66-67-67
202: Greg MOSS (USA) 72-66-64
203: Clyde MONDILLA (PHI) 67-70-66, Masaru TAKAHASHI  (JPN) 66-69-68
204: Janne KASKE (FIN) 66-68-70
205: Jay BAYRON (PHI) 67-70-68, Himmat RAI (IND) 69-67-69, Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 67-69-69, Paul DONAHOO (AUS)     69-66-70, Zanie Boy GIALON  (PHI) 70-63-72
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.