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Rates forces playoff, then repels Finn

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Joenard Rates

Joenard Rates

LIPA City, Batangas – Joenard Rates battled back from six down to force a playoff with a closing six-under 66 then out-steadied Janne Kaske of Finland on the second extra hole to snatch the Philippine Golf Tour Asia’s Summit Point World 18 Challenge crown here Saturday.

On a course designed for the big hitters, the diminutive Rates leaned on his big fighting heart, coming through with a sizzling start and putting up a strong finish that netted him a pair of 33s four flights behind the championship group to tie Kaske at 12-under 276.

Kaske outduelled third round leader Micah Shin and Elmer Salvador in a pressure-packed finale and finished with a 70 but missed clinching it outright with a flubbed birdie putt on the par-5 16th.

Rates and Kaske traded pars on the first playoff hole but the Filipino bet finished off the Finnish on their third trip on the par-4 18th, two-putting for par then watched his rival miss the green and miss a playoff-extending par putt from 10 feet.

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