Pagunsan rules Mizuno Open, earns P5.2 million top prize, ticket to British Open

Published May 30, 2021, 10:11 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Photo from Mizuno Golf Japan Facebook page


What a lucky Sunday (May 30) it was for Philippines sports.

Not only one but two Filipino athletes emerged triumphant, earning mega prizes in the process in events held thousands of miles apart.

After boxer Nonito Donaire made history as the oldest boxer to win a WBC bantamweight crown at 38-years-old, golfer Juvic Pagunsan held his ground to close out with a 68 and ruled the Gate Way To The Open Mizuno Open in Okayama, Japan.

Despite a 65 in the second round that gave him a three-shot lead, Pagunsan started cold, bogeying the first and third holes.

But he recovered mightily with birdies on holes Nos. 6, 8 and 9. He picked up three more birdies on the 11th, 15th and 16th to win the event by three over Ryutaro Nagano, who shot a closing 66.

Pagunsan finished with a 17-under 199 to pocket the ¥12,000,000 (P5.2 million) top prize in the event shortened to 54 due to bad weather.

It was a fitting follow up to his runner-up finish in the in the Asia Pacific Diamond Cup in Kagayama, Japan last May 16.

His title win also earned for himself a ticket to the 2021 British Open at Royal St. George’s Golf Course in Kent, England from July 15 to 18.

All Donaire needed were four rounds to prove that he is still a force to reckon with, stopping unbeaten Frenchman Nordine Oubaali with a vintage showing to capture the WBC bantamweight title at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Donaire has smashed the previous record held by compatriot and boxing great Gerry Peñalosa, who was 36 back then when he defeated Jhonny Gonzales of Mexico in 2007.

He first captured the WBC and WBO bantamweight titles against Fernando Montiel of Mexico in February 2011 and retained the belts versus Omar Narvaez of Argentina in October of the same year.