SILANG, Cavite — Juvic Pagunsan finally unleashed the kind of game expected from a player of his caliber, shooting a five-under 66 and storming to a whopping four-stroke lead over a late-charging Angelo Que in the third round of the ICTSI Riviera Golf Challenge at the Langer course here yesterday.
With the wind not blowing as hard as in the first two rounds that sent the scores soaring and two of the fancied bets out of the title race, Pagunsan flaunted his superb shotmaking skills, his crisp iron shots setting up a lot of birdie chances, four of which he drilled inside 10 feet at the front that put him away of halfway co-leader and uncle Rey Pagunsan and the rest of his erstwhile pursuers.
He went five-under with another birdie on the 10th then rebounded from a third straight bogey on the par-3 12th with his sixth birdie on the next for a 31-35 card and a 54-hole total 208 as Asia’s former No. 1 moved 18 holes away from nailing his breakthrough win on the Philippine Golf Tour Asia.
“It was just fantastic, Everything was in place and the wind not as strong as in the first two days,” said Juvic, who nevertheless remained wary of Que’s threat to his title drive in the $100,000 event serving as the penultimate leg of the 10-stage second season of the region’s newest circuit put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Four strokes off the pace after 36 holes, Que had earlier set the tone of the big guns’ assault on the par-71 layout with a 32, spiking his similar 66 with a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 10th off a superb 3-wood second shot from 247 yards.
“Finally, I regained my touch and got the feel of my game. I hit it pretty well and my iron and putting clicked,” said Que, also in pursuit of his first PGT Asia win after spending majority of the last few years on the lucrative Japan PGA Tour.
But he remained four strokes back at 212 although the former Philippine Open champion assured an explosive final round showdown with his fellow Japan PGA Tour campaigner.