MURCIA, Negros Occidental – Juvic Pagunsan picked up an easy win here yesterday ahead of Father’s Day as he outclassed a crack international field with his superb form for a whopping seven-stroke romp over Rufino Bayron in the P2.5 million ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge.
Four shots ahead of Bayron and Marcos Pastor at the start of the final round, Pagunsan actually staggered with a one-over card after six holes, enabling the Spanish ace to pull within one with birdies on Nos. 2 and 5 and a slew of the others to close in with their own fine starts.
But Pagunsan rattled off three straight birdies from No. 7 to go three-up again on Pastor before putting the outcome beyond doubt with a birdie on the 12th and another three-birdie binge from No. 14.
“I was a bit nervous at the start but after I birdied No. 7, I kind of regained my confidence and got my game back,” said Pagunsan, who finished with a 20-under 260 that included 68 and 65 in the first two rounds before seizing firm control with a 63 Friday, in Filipino.
The victory, worth R450,000, marked the Japan PGA Tour-based shotmaker’s return to the circuit put up by ICTSI and more than boosted his stock going to next week’s Negros Occidental Classic which he won via sudden death over Jobim Carlos last year.
Four up over his nearest pursuer after 12 holes, the region’s former No. 1 still went for more, birdying Nos. 14, 15 and 16 from close range then parred the last two to complete the big romp in the P2.5 million championship which served as the second of a four-stage Visayan swing of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“I always give my 100 percent even when I have a big lead. I take my game seriously that’s why some, even my co-players, have mistakenly find me snobbish and conceited. But that’s really my style. When I’m on the course, my mindset is to stay focused because you develop bad habits if you don’t,” said Pagunsan.