Juvic Pagunsan celebrates his win with daughter LJ (left) and son PJ.
Juvic Pagunsan roars to 7-shot Bacolod romp
(The Philippine Star) - June 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MURCIA, Negros , Philippines — He went through some anxious moments with a shaky start but after regaining his touch at No. 7, there was no stopping Juvic Pagunsan from completing a seven-stroke triumph over Rufino Bayron in the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge here yesterday.

Four shots ahead of Bayron and Marcos Pastor after 54 holes, the region’s former No. 1 sputtered with a two-bogey, one-birdie game after No. 6, enabling the Spanish ace to pull within one with birdies on Nos. 2 and 5 and a host of others to close in with their own fine starts.

But Pagunsan dashed whatever hopes his rivals might have had in that brief stretch as he rediscovered his touch off the mound, on the fairways all the way to the greens, closing his frontside stint with three straight birdies to go three-up again on Pastor.

He stretched his lead with another short birdie on the 12th then placed the outcome beyond doubt with another three-birdie splurge from No. 14, completing the romp ahead of Father’s Day and of his title defense in nearby Marapara next week.

“I was a bit nervous at the start but after I birdied No. 7, I kind of regained my confidence and got my game back,” said Pagunsan, who finished with a 20-under 260 that included 68 and 65 in the first two rounds before seizing firm control with a 63 Friday.

The victory, worth P450,000, marked the Japan PGA Tour-based shotmaker’s return to the circuit put up by ICTSI and boosted his stock going to next week’s Negros Occidental Classic which he ruled via sudden death over Jobim Carlos last year.

Four up over his nearest pursuer after 12 holes, the region’s former No. 1 still went for more, birdying Nos. 14, 15 and 16 from close range.

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