FORMER Asian Tour No. 1 Juvic Pagunsan fired a bogey-free five-under 67 to stand two strokes off the pace after the first round of the US$1 million Resorts World Manila Masters at the Manila Southwoods.
Pagunsan, who topped the Asian Tour money list in 2011, had only one birdie on the front nine but hit four on the back nine, putting himself within striking distance of Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and Daisuke Kataoka, who opened with 65s.
“It’s a really good start. I didn’t think about whether I shot birdies or bogeys. I just wanted to go out to play,” Pagunsan told asiantour.com.
“I kept my focus on every shot, just tried to hit fairways and hit the greens and make two putts. If I got lucky, I would make a one-putt for birdie,” he added.
“I played here three practice rounds here last week and if I have a chance to win, I’ll take it. I just need to keep my focus. It’s all about hitting good shots.”
Antonio Lascuna was tied for 10th after firing a four-under 68, while Jhonnel Ababa and Elmer Salvador were in a big group in joint 15th at 69.
Benjie Magada fired a 70 for a share of 21st spot, while Clyde Mondilla, Jay Bayron and Rene Menor shot 71s for joint 32nd.
Mars Pucay was tied for 45th after carding 72, while Cassius Casas, Frankie Minoza and Michael Bobat scored 73s.
Miguel Tabuena struggled to a 74 as did Joenard Rates and Dante Becierra, while Rico Depilo, Paul Echavez, Artemio Murakami, Rolando Marabe and Zanie Boy Gialon fired 75s.
Angelo Que came up with a 76 that included a disastrous 6 on the par-3 No. 13. He was tied with Anthony Fernando and Orland Sumcad.