Filipino ace suffers late collapse: Pagunsan 13 adrift after 54 holes
DORAL, Florida—Juvic Pagunsan stumbled with three bogeys in his last four holes and settled for an even-par 72, dropping the reigning Asian Tour No. 1 into the middle of the field after the third round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship Saturday.
Pagunsan, with earlier rounds of 69-71, was three-under for the day after the 14th hole before going bogey-bogey-bogey in a disastrous stretch that left him with a 212 total after 54 holes, 13 strokes behind American leader Bubba Watson.
The Filipino ace wound up tied for 34th place with American Jonathan Byrd in the elite 74-man field going into the final round of the $8.5 million event serving as the second leg of the 2012 World Golf Championship series.
Pagunsan hit the turn at 1-under after a birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie start to his round. He birdied the 11th and seemed well on the way to moving up high in the leaderboard after another birdie on the 14th, before his game turned sour.
But he remained the second-best Asian in the tournament after Asian Tour honorary member K.J. Choi of South Korea, who was tied for 23rd place at 211 after firing a 70.
Watson opened up a three-shot lead as the left-hander moved to 17 under after firing a 69. England’s Justin Rose, who also shot a 69, and American Keegan Bradley, who had a 66, were tied for second at 14-under.
Watson’s round included three bogeys and six birdies after he started with an eagle on the par-five first hole.
Tiger Woods (68) and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (65) both moved up the leaderboard and ended the day eight shots behind Watson, tied for eighth.
World No. 1 McIlroy shot a superb six-under 30 on the front nine, despite not gaining a stroke on either of the two par fives, but then made bogeys on the 14th and 16th holes, both par fours, to end with a seven-under round.
Woods was in great touch on the first seven holes but a bogey on the eighth stalled him.
Australian Adam Scott, who had been third overnight, saw his bid fall apart on the last three holes when he made two bogeys and a double when he drove into the water on the 18th.