Tokyo Olympics: Juvic Pagunsan three shots off Austrian leader in men’s golf

Published July 29, 2021, 5:38 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Philippines’ Juvic Pagunsan watches his drive from a tee in round 1 of the men’s golf individual stroke play during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe on July 29, 2021. (Photo by YOSHIHIRO IWAMO / AFP)

Golfer Juvic Pagunsan fired a five-under par 66 to jumpstart his gold medal bid in the Tokyo Games yesterday at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan.

The pride of Bacolod found himself three shots off Austrian Sepp Straka as golf made its second stint in the Olympics after its return during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 43-year-old Pagunsan, the second Filipino to play in the Olympics after Miguel Tabuena finished tied for 5th to 6th places with Joachim Hansen of Denmark and Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela.

Pagunsan converted six birdies on 1, 6, 8, 11, 13 and 16, and made a bogey on the par-3 hole No. 4.

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond is a stroke behind Straka while Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Carlos Ortiz of Mexico are tied for 3rd to 4th places with similar 65.

Pagunsan, who has played in the par-71 golf course as a regular competitor in the Japan PGA Tour, hopes to sustain his good performance as he tees off at 9:03 a.m. in the second round.

He will be on the same flight with Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay and Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent.