Pagunsan 4 shots off with 71 in Mizuno Open golf tiff

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Pagunsan 4 shots off with 71 in Mizuno Open golf tiff
Juvic Pagunsan
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines – Juvic Pagunsan opened the defense of his Mizuno Open crown with a 71 as he trailed Aussie Brad Kennedy and local bet Kenta Konishi by four at the Setonaikai Golf Club in Okayama, Japan Thursday.

The smooth-swinging Filipino ace ruled this event in tough conditions last year, ending a long search for a first Japan PGA Tour diadem. But his game went on a downswing late last year and early in the new season in a campaign marred by a number of missed cut stints.

The former Asian Tour top money earner banked on his long game and birdied two of the four par-5s of the par-72 layout to negate a missed green mishap on the par-3 No. 14, settling for a share of 38th with compatriot Justin delos Santos, who mixed three birdies with two bogeys, in a starting field of 144.

Kennedy scorched the backside with four birdies for a 67 which Konishi matched with a seven-birdie splurge against two bogeys as they seized a one-stroke lead over young Yuto Katsuragawa, who honed his talent and skills at Manila Southwoods, and three others.

The event is also staking four berths in this year’s 150th (British) Open at St. Andrews. Pagunsan, however, passed up that chance to vie in the world’s oldest major championship last year due to travel restrictions in pandemic times and to focus on the Tokyo Olympics.



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with