JUVIC Pagunsan, suspended by the local tour organizers last year for misconduct, has refused to pay the fine and is instead giving up his slot in the rich The Country Club Invitational set to fire off next week at the TCC layout in Laguna.
Pagunsan recently asked the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., organizer of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour and the annual TCC Invitational, if he is invited to play in the elite P5 million event where he is a three-time champion.
When told that he needed to pay the P25,000 fine, the winner of the 2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit and many-time tour winner said he would rather not play than pay.
The PGTI sacked the erring Pagunsan last July for pulling out of the final round of The Duel – North vs South in June. He did not explain why he left. He was also suspended in 2011 for the same offense.
In abandoning the Duel series last June, the PGTI board of directors slapped Pagunsan with a ban until the end of 2013. The PGTI cited Pagunsan’s frequent violations of the Members Handbook and General Regulations which "constitute a material break of the player’s obligations in respect to his participation in the PGTI tournaments."
Pagunsan also pulled out without notice during the first round of the ICTSI Forest Hills Championship and during 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, a leg of the Asian Development Tour, after refusing to abide by the club’s house rules, prompting the PGTI to sack him.
Despite Pagunsan’s absence in the TCC Invitational set from February 6-9, the field remains talented with back-to-back ICTSI PGT Order of Merit winner Tony Lascuña, Angelo Que, Elmer Salvador, Miguel Tabuena, brothers Jay and Rufino Bayron and defending champion Frankie Miñoza seeing action.
Meanwhile, the traditional 18-hole pro-am event, featuring the leading professionals and ICTSI’s guests from various sectors, will be held on February 5.
Others fancied to contend for the crown are Cassius Casas, Carl Santos-Ocampo, Mhark Fernando, Jhonnel Ababa, Michael Bibat, Mars Pucay, Edward Reyes, Jessie Balasabas, Charles Hong, Gerald Rosales, Elmer Saban, Benjie Magada, Richard Sinfuego Others seeing action at TCC Invitational are Dutch Guido Van der Valk, Marvin Dumandan, Clyde Mondilla, Orlan Sumcad, Rey Pagunsan, Jun Bernis, Tomokazu Yoshinaga, Anthony Fernando, Randy Garalde, Ferdie Aunzo and 2009 champion Artemio Murakami.