Juvic holds sway, now leads by 2
SILANG, Cavite—Despite struggling on trying conditions to shoot a one-over-par 72 on Thursday, Juvic Pagunsan still jacked up his lead in the ICTSI Riviera Challenge to two shots heading into the final two rounds of the P2.5-million event.
The talented Japan Tour regular holed out with a double bogey 6 on the 18th for 140 overall, but his pursuers after the first round fared worse with blustery gusts blowing the field over, as Japan’s Takahashi Keisuke, The Netherland’s Guido Van der Valk and the veteran Antonio Lascuña climbed into a second place tie.
Keisuke and Lascuña gutted out 70s, while Van der Valk, after an opening 69, ballooned to a 73 for level 142s, even as Angelo Que, the other fancied bet, shot a 74 to be six adrift along with five others.
“As I’ve said, nothing is certain here even if I’m in the lead,” said Pagunsan, upbeat but cautious of his bid for a record fourth straight victory on the Philippine Golf Tour following a sweep of the last three legs of the Visayas swing in Bacolod, Negros and Iloilo in June.
Reigning Philippine Open champion Clyde Mondilla also carded a 72 to be at 143, with Jonel Ababa and Joenard Rates shooting a 72 and 70, in that order, to be another stroke behind.
“There are so many good players out there, so I need to focus on my own game and not be complacent,” Pagunsan added.
“It was tough … I did well at the front but had some sloppy bogeys at the back,” Van der Valk said.