SILANG, Cavite – Juvic Pagunsan turned what was expected to be a fierce final round duel with fellow Japan PGA Tour campaigner Angelo Que into a victory walk, cutting loose with an early rash of birdies and cruising to a whopping seven-shot romp in the ICTSI Riviera Golf Challenge at the Langer course here.
Not even a rare three-shot swing on No. 14 could rattle Pagunsan, who surged ahead by four after 54 holes behind a 66 Friday then hiked his lead to seven with a three-birdie binge in the first 10 holes yesterday. But Que birdied the par-4 14th, which Pagunsan double bogeyed on an errant drive, to cut the lead back to four, only to yield the same number of strokes on the par-5 16th on a reverse double bogey-birdie swing.
That paved the way for Pagunsan’s unhampered march to a championship in his first Philippine Golf Tour Asia event as Asia’s former No. 1 closed out with an even par 70 for a 72-hole total of six-under 278.
“I played solid at the front. Though I wavered at the finish, I kept my cool knowing I’ve got a huge lead,” said Pagunsan, who received the top purse of $17,500 from organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. executive director Narlene Soriano during awards rites of 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.