SAN RAFAEL, BULACAN—Juvic Pagunsan completed a wire-to-wire victory in the opening leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, firing a 3-under-par 69 to rule the Royal Northwoods championship by two strokes here yesterday.
Pagunsan birdied five of the first 10 holes to turn back the challenge of Jay Bayron and went on to finish with a 54-hole total of 206.
It was the fourth title in the Tour for the smooth-swinging shotmaker from Bacolod, who picked up the winner’s check of P200,000.
Bayron submitted a two-under 70 for a 208 total and claimed the runner-up prize of P120,000.
The Davao-born ace stayed within two strokes off Pagunsan with a 33 on the front nine, but a double bogey on 13, which Pagunsan also bogeyed, hurt his chances of catching up with the 32-year-old Asian Tour veteran.
Pagunsan calmly sank his par putt on the 18th to seal the victory, before rushing to the small gallery to hug his 8-year-old daughter, LJ, and wife Len.
“They are my lucky charm,” said Pagunsan in Filipino, referring to his wife and daughter, who were also present when the former Asian Tour rookie of the year won his last tournament in the Asean Tour event in Thailand, last year.
Former amateur hotshot Mhark Fernando wound up third with a final-round 70 for 211.
Anthony Fernando, who stood just two shots off the pace with rounds of 68-70, faded after successive bogeys on 8 and 9. He finished with a 74 and a 212 total.
Kevin Tayao threw away a 68-71 start with a fat 80 in the final round. He ended up tied at 27th in the tournament sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc., organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments and backed by MJ Carr Golf Management, Srixon, Callaway, Dynamic Sports, Omnisource International, Unilab, Mizuno, Titleist.
The final scores: 205—J. Pagunsan (66-70-69); 207— J. Bayron (67-70-70); 211—M. Fernando (67-74-70); 212—G. Bondoc (72-70-70), J. Carlos (a) (66-75-71), C. Santos-Ocampo (72-67-73), N. Casas (69-70-73), A. Fernando (68-70-74); 213—E. Salvador (68-74-71); 214—Villacencio (73-72-69), G. Rosales (70-72-72); 215—Depilo (75-69-71), Ababa (72-72-71), A. Lascuna (72-71-72), M. Dumandan (68-75-72); 216—A. Murakami (69-71-76); 217—R. Sinfuego (73-74-70), R. Bisera (70-77-70), Opaco (74-73-70), J. Rates (70-76-71), O. Sumcad (72-72-73); 218—Macatangay (73-74-71), Vinluan (74-73-71), Engino (70-76-72), Cruz (70-75-73), Saban (71-70-77); 219—Abaring (71-75-73), J. Balasabas (72-73-74), F. Aunzo (73-71-75), D. Zarate (73-70-76), K. Tayao (68-71-80)