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Bowditch takes PGA qualifying lead, Canada's Fritsch 11th

Associated Press

12/2/2012 7:36:15 PM

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Australia's Steven Bowditch shot an 8-under 64 on Sunday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to take a one-stroke lead after the fifth round of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament.

Bowditch had a 23-under 337 total in the six-round event. The final top 25 and ties will receive 2013 PGA Tour cards and the next 50 and ties will earn Web.com Tour cards.

Kris Blanks was second after a 66, and Derek Ernst (66), Steve LeBrun (67) and Edward Loar (68) followed at 21 under. They also played the Nicklaus course.

Ottawa's Brad Fritsch, who already has his PGA Tour card for next season but is looking to improve his standing, shot a 66 on the Nicklaus course and is part of a group tied for 11th at 18 under.

Sweden's Robert Karlsson, an 11-time winner on the European Tour winner, and England's Ross Fisher, a four-time European Tour winner, are also tied for 11th. Karlsson shot 68, and Fisher had a 67.

Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton was tied for 15th at 17 under after a 67. Tom Pernice, the oldest player in the field at 53, also was 17 under after a 68.

Camilo Villegas, a three-time PGA Tour winner, had a 73 to drop from a tie for 20th to a tie for 46th at 12 under.

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., shot a third straight 68 on the Nicklaus course and is tied for 55th.

On the Stadium Course, Matt Hill of Bright's Grove, Ont., shot a 72 and is tied for 98th along with Roger Sloan (66) of Merritt, B.C. Calgary's Ryan Yip (70) is tied for 116th and Mitch Evanecz (75) of Red Deer, Alta., is tied for 140th.