Juvic Pagunsan skips Philippine Open for Dubai
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Juvic Pagunsan won’t be flashing his superb form in the ICTSI
Philippine Open at Wack Wack’s fabled East course next month after all.
The brilliant shotmaker from Bacolod, who completed a wire-to-wire victory four-stroke victory in the rich The Country Club Invitational, will miss his country’s national championship to see action in the $2.5 million Omega Dubai Desert Classic scheduled on the same PH Open date—Feb. 9 to 12.
Pagunsan was among four players who qualified under Category 5 (national/regional orders of merit) of the European Tour event where Rory McIlroy is the defending champion and shares stellar billing with world No. 2 Lee Westwood and world No. 4 Martin Kaymer.
To prepare for the Dubai event, Pagunsan is also skipping the Asian Tour’s opening leg in Myanmar this week.
Former champions Angelo Que, Artemio Murakami and Frankie Miñoza will now lead the strong local challenge in the PH Open that will feature a strong lineup of champions including Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih and Japanese ace Tetsuji Hiratsuka.
Lu, who won twice at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters and Yeangder Tournament Players Championship on home soil last season, is shooting for a first victory outside of his native country.
Hiratsuka will be searching for his fifth Asian Tour win in three seasons at the Philippine Open, the second leg of the Asian Tour’s 2012 season set Feb. 9 to 12.
The Japanese veteran won three times in 2010 to finish third on the Order of Merit.
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