Juvic cruises to 7-shot win at Riviera
SILANG, Cavite–Juvic Pagunsan cracked par on an unforgivable layout for the second straight day, closing out with a one-under-par 70 to win the ICTSI Riviera Challenge by a stunning seven shots over Angelo Que on Saturday at the complex’ windswept Langer layout.
It was the perfect tuneup that Pagunsan needed before shooting for his first Philippine Open crown next week at The Country Club in Laguna, tallying 278 over 72 holes—the only player under par—as fellow Japan Tour campaigner Angelo Que stumbled with a 73.
Reigning PH Masters champ Jessie Balasabas shot a 71 to finish 10 strokes behind, with Lexus Keoninh of the United States winding up as the best-placed foreign bet at 289 after a 72.
Meanwhile, the $500,000 Open, presented by Solaire starting April 3, will not have its defending champion—and one of the country’s top draws—after Miguel Tabuena was forced to withdraw because of a back injury on Friday.
Tabuena sustained the injury during the Pro-Am of the Maybank Championship in Malaysia last week.
He was also scheduled to play in the rich Hero Indian Open this week and also withdrew.
Not even a rare three-shot swing on No. 14 could rattle Pagunsan, who surged ahead by four after 54 holes behind a 66 Friday then hiked his lead to seven with a three-birdie binge in the first 10 holes.
“I played solid at the front. Though I struggled at the finish, I kept my cool knowing I’ve got a huge lead,” said Pagunsan,” who won $17,500.
The victory was Pagunsan’s second since marking his return to the local circuit. He had a playoff win over Jobim Carlos in Bacolod last August.
“It’s a big boost heading to the Open,” added Pagunsan.