Sweet-swinging Pagunsan leads TCC by 1 | Inquirer Sports

Sweet-swinging Pagunsan leads TCC by 1

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:45 AM February 08, 2014

CANLUBANG—Rey Pagunsan gunned down five birdies in wicked conditions yesterday and shot a four-under-par 66 to take a two-stroke lead over two formidable former champions halfway through the rich The Country Club Invitational.

The 45-year-old, one of the nicest fellows one can ever come across on the local tour, capped his round with a magnificent par save from a fried egg-lie on the right greenside bunker on the 18th for a 134 total at the exclusive, wind-swept layout here.

“Dinanapuan tayo ng swerte (We got lucky),” said Pagunsan after erecting a two-shot cushion over Cassius Casas and Antonio Lascuna who shot a 65 and a 67, respectively, to blow into serious contention for a second triumph in the P5-million event.


Princess fumbles


Mars Pucay returned a 69 to be just five shots back like Princess Superal, the reigning Southeast Asian Games gold medalist who fumbled with a 72 after opening up with a 67 on Thursday.

Anthony Fernando fired a 68 to be at level 140, while Orlan Sumcad, who shared the first round lead with Pagunsan after a 68, fired a 74 to be eight shots back.

Angelo Que, the jolly multiple-leg winner in the Asian Tour who is seeking a fourth championship in this event held in honor of ICTSI founder, the late Don Pocholo Razon, birdied the 17th and 18th to salvage a 71 for 143 like Zannie Boy Gialon and Jonel Ababa.

Gialon  returned a 72, while Ababa fired a 73 even as defending champion Frankie Miñoza improved slightly with a 72 for 145, 11 shots off the lead and needing a super low round today to contend for the title.

Impossible lie

Pagunsan’s fifth birdie came on the 17th, when he hit a pitching wedge off the tee to within 12 feet before having his most brilliant moment of the round when he saved par from what looked like an impossible lie in the bunker.


Shooting to win for the first time since winning the Aguinaldo leg of the defunct First Gentleman’s circuit in 2004, Pagunsan blasted out to within driver length of the 18th hole to rescue his par.

“I actually forgot the last time that I won,” Pagunsan said. After the round, the sweet swinger went straight to Southwoods to give out lessons to his regular students. “It’s my therapy.”

Casas, the winner of the inaugural leg in 2003, was a birdie-making machine in the second round, gunning down seven only to bogey Nos. 10 and 15 and fail to catch Pagunsan on top.

Lascuna, meanwhile, had a 35-32 round, shooting three straight birdies from No. 12 to stay within striking distance and keep alive his bid of joining an elite list of multiple winners of the event.


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Rey Pagunsan, Sumcad joint TCC leaders

TAGS: Antonio Lascuna, Golf, Jonel Ababa, Mars Pucay, Orlan Sumcad, Princess Superal, Rey Pagunsan, Sports, TCC

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