Juvic Pagunsan proved again he’s a cut above the rest, firing an eagle-aided 69 to run away with a six-shot victory over Danny Zarate and Richard Sinfuego in the ICTSI-Riviera Classic at Riviera’s Couples course, May 21, in Silang, Cavite.
Bracing for a down-to-the-wire battle for the crown after grabbing a one-stroke lead over Sinfuego and just three shots ahead of three others after the second round of the P1 million event, Pagunsan eagled the par-5 seventh to hold sway then birdied two of the last four holes to blast the field.
He had two bogeys but finished with three birdies to go with his eagle for a 35-34 card and a 54-hole aggregate of eight-under 208, six shots clear of Zarate and Sinfuego in the third leg of the ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments. He won P200,000.
“Mataas ang kumpiyansa ko sa tournament na ito. Binago ko ang swing ko na dati mataas ang backswing. Ngayon pina-flat namin ni coach Jun (Cedo),” said Pagunsan.
Zarate tried to rally with a 34 at the front but his overnight five-shot deficit proved too much for the dusky shotmaker to pose a threat in the event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
He closed out with a 70 and settled for joint second with Sinfuego at 214 in the tournament backed by by MJ Carr Golf Management, Jaguar, Land Rover, Studio 23, Balls TV, Srixon/Cleveland Golf, Callaway Golf and Golf Punk.
The soft-spoken Sinfuego, who aced No. 8 in the second round to close within one of Pagunsan, matched the fancied bet’s par-game after three holes. But he reeled back with a bogey on the fourth and sputtered at the back, missing grabbing solo second with a closing double-bogey. He had a 74 and split the combined P185,000 purse with Zarate.
Orlan Sumcad turned in his second top five finish in the last two tournaments after finishing joint runner-up with Dabawenyo Jay Bayron in the ICTSI-Sherwood ruled by Marvin Dumandan of Davao as he matched par 72 for a 215 and a share of fourth with Rey Pagunsan (73) and Gene Bondoc (73).
Ferdie Aunzo, winner of the ICTSI-Royal Northwoods last year, also carded a 72 to tie Asian Tour regular Tony Lascuna, who had a 73, at seventh with 216 while Angelo Que failed to bounce back from a second round 75 and wound up joint ninth with Joel Opaco (69) and Dabawenyo Elmer Saban (74) with 217.
The victory should all the more prop up Pagunsan as he goes for back-to-back wins in next week’s ICTSI-Forest Hills Classic starting May 26 at the Forest Hills Golf Club in Antipolo.
It was Pagunsan’s third victory on the tour after ruling the ICTSI-Apo and ICTSI-Canlubang legs last year via the same fashion.
He beat Angelo Que and Elmer Salvador by three shots in Davao then overwhelmed Artemio Murakami and Jerome Delariarte by six at the close of last year’s circuit in Canlubang.(pr)