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Chan catches up with Kim at PGT

Screencap from Pilipinas Golf/Fb

Rookie Aidric Chan delivered yet another strong performance by crafting a second straight two-under 70 on Wednesday and tying Korean Tae Soo Kim midway through the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship at the Caliraya Springs Golf Club in Cavinti, Laguna.

Chan, switching back to his old putter, had a birdie spree from No. 12 that highlighted his growing confidence and adaptability on the Philippine Golf Tour (PGT), overcoming a two-bogey jolt and finding himself sharing the spotlight in a power-packed field.

Despite an illustrious amateur career and a notable victory in the PGT Q-School in Davao, Chan’s pro debut was looking for an impetus.

He finished 40th at the Apo Golf Classic. But he quickly recovered, securing a tied for eighth place at the Rancho Palos Verdes Championship.

This could be the moment he’s waiting for.

“I used a new putter in Davao and it helped in the first two weeks. But unfortunately, I wasn’t stroking the ball well in the next two weeks, so I went back to my old putter,” said Chan, whose four-under 140 total put him in step with Kim.

After a solid 66 Tuesday, spiked by a near-flawless stint off the mound, Kim faced challenges with his driving accuracy in hot, windy conditions, leading to a 74 and a tie with Chan. His performance, marked by missed opportunities and a struggle to find fairways, set the stage for a pivotal third round battle.

“I hit a lot of bad drives at the front nine and I wasn’t able to scramble at all, so I made three bogeys,” said Kim, referring to his mishaps on Nos. 1, 5 and 6. He dropped another stroke on the par-5 12th against birdies on Nos. 4 and 17,” said Kim, 19.

“The wind was pretty strong but it didn’t affect my drives. I just missed them to the wrong side. I just hope to hit more fairways and make more putts tomorrow (Thursday).”

But the leaderboard is tightly packed with Clyde Mondilla (71), Keanu Jahns (71), Dino Villanueva (74) and Min Hyeok Yu, who fired the day’s best 68, all pooling 141s, and Angelo Que, eyeing his first PGT title in five years, also staying within striking distance at 142 despite a 73.

Jay Bayron, also seeking an end to a long title drought in the circuit sponsored by ICTSI, shot a 69 to tie defending champion Tony Lascuña, who turned in a 71, Sean Ramos, who struggled with a 74, and Rupert Zaragosa, who rallied with a 70, for eighth spot with 143s, just three strokes off the pace.

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