Pagunsan charges back with 66, trails by 4 in Panasonic Open

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Pagunsan charges back with 66, trails by 4 in Panasonic Open
In this July 31, 2021 file photo, the Philippines' Juvic Pagunsan watches his drive from the second tee in Round 3 of the men’s golf individual stroke play during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe.
Yoshi Iwamoto / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Juvic Pagunsan picked up steam at the back and came away with a bogey-free 66, crashing into joint 16th from a share of 57th even as Justin delos Santos slowed down with a 70 halfway through the Panasonic Open at the Ono Toyo Golf Club in Kyogo, Japan Friday.

Katsumasa Miyamoto also sizzled with a solid six-under card to grab the lead at 133, a shot ahead of erstwhile frontrunner Yuto Katsuragawa, who settled for a 69 and slipped to joint second at 134 with Hiroyo Ikemura, who charged back with a 65, Tomoharu Ohtsuki, who also fired a 66, Yuki Inamori, who turned in a 67, and Shugo Imahira, who also shot a three-under card.

After a 71 start, Pagunsan hardly moved in the ranking with a lone frontside birdie, but he birdied the first four holes at the back then gained another stroke on the last par-5 on No. 15 to wheel back into contention at 137 for a share of 13th in the Y100 million tournament.

The former Asian Tour No. 1 missed just four fairways and finished with 26 putts, capping his exploits with five scrambling pars to pull within four strokes off the new leader.

Delos Santos, on the other hand, rallied late to check a rollercoaster round of three birdies against the same number of bogeys. He birdied Nos. 15 and 16 but missed his chances in the last two holes to save a 37-33.

The Filipino-American, who started out with six backside birdies before ending up with a 69 Thursday, struggled with his long game and missed seven fairways while settling for a 30-putt showing after finishing with 28 in the first round.

While Pagunsan made a big move, delos Santos slipped from joint 19th to a share of 33rd.

In the Asian Development Tour, Rupert Zaragosa shot a 71 and wound up tied at 27th in the Combiphar Players Championship won by Thai Suteepat Prateeptiechai at the Parahyangan Golf in Indonesia, also Friday.

Zaragosa closed out with a two-birdie, one-bogey card and finished with a four-day total of 288, 15 strokes behind Prateeptiechai, who fired a 68 to beat compatriot Chonlatit Chuenboonngam, who matched par 72 for a 275.

Ira Alido rallied with a 68 but could only improve to a share of 38th at 291.



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