ORGANIZERS of the ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour has suspended Juvic Pagunsan for the rest of the season for the same offense that caused his ban from the local tour two years ago.
Pagunsan pulled out of the singles matches in the final round of The Duel – North vs South last June, leaving the South squad without its skipper on the final day and enabling the North team to pull off a come-from-behind victory in the Ryder Cup-style event.
Although South coach Jerome Delariarte said his prized ward decided not to play in the final round because he “was not feeling well,” the Philippine Golf Tournaments, Inc. (PGTI) imposed the suspension when the enigmatic shotmaker failed to explain his no-show to organizers.
“Our tournament director (Henry Arabelo) sent you an e-mail on June 14, requesting for a written explanation on your non-appearance. However, neither Arabelo nor we received any reply from you despite the opportunity given to you to explain your side,” said the PGTI in a letter to Pagunsan dated July 16.
“The PGTI board of directors has decided to impose a penalty of suspension until the end of the current year. Consequently, you will not be allowed to play in tournaments organized by PGTI until December 31, 2013,” according to PGTI.
The PGTI cited Pagunsan’s frequent violations of the tour's Members Handbook and General Regulations which constitute a material break of the player’s obligations in respect to his participation in the PGTI tournaments.
The PGTI also slapped the 2011 Asian Tour No. 1 with a fine of P25,000.
Pagunsan also pulled out without notice from the first round of the ICTSI Forest Hills Championship and on the second day of the ICTSI Royal Northwoods Championship, both in 2010.
In 2011, Pagunsan walked out of the Aboitiz Invitational presented by ICTSI in Cebu after refusing to abide by the club’s house rules, prompting the PGTI to sack him.
In suspending Pagunsan, the PGTI cited Clauses 1.4(a), paragraphs 5 and 6 and 1.4 (e) of the Members Handbook and General Regulations, which state: “A competitor is not entitled to withdraw at the conclusion of the first round or during the play of any round of a tournament, except for emergency reason or medical circumstances deemed reasonable by the tournament director. For every withdrawal during the event, a player must complete a withdrawal form, providing details of the reason for his withdrawal.”
Pagunsan’s non-appearance, according to PGTI, was deemed a withdrawal from the tournament and cast the tour and its stakeholders in a bad light.
“Your withdrawal has also caught media attention and elicited negative feedback that injured the reputation and goodwill of the PGTI, as well as its sponsors-stakeholders and fellow competitors in violation of the Code of Behavior,” said the PGTI.
The PGTI also expressed its desire for Pagunsan to be constantly mindful of his obligations and undertakings in the PGTI-organized tournaments and as representative of his major corporate sponsor, International Container Terminal Services, Inc.