JUVIC Pagunsan again flirted with victory in the Singapore Open and wound up just short of claiming a place in The Open Championship.
The shotmaker from Bacolod made back-to-back birdies on the back nine to move into a share of the lead with compatriot Angelo Que, only to drop strokes on the next two holes on Sunday at the Serapong Course of the Sentosa Golf Club.
He failed to recover and settled for a 70 and a share of second behind Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng at 8-under 27, earning US$66,000 (around P3.3 million).
The finish, however, wasn’t enough to earn him a place in the oldest golf major championship.
Marksaeng took the title with a closing 67 for a 275 total and claimed the first of four Open spots at stake in the tournament co-sanctioned by the Japan Tour and Asian Tour.
Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand, Jbe KKruger of South Africa and Korea’s Younghan Song also wound at 276 and claimed the other three spots to the British Open by virtue of a higher world ranking.
World No. 80 Song closed with a 69, No. 246 Khongwatmai shot a closing 71, No. 312 Kruger had a final-round 69.
Pagunsan, ranked 476th, finished runner-up to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in the 2011 Singapore Open when it was co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour.
“I came so close again at the Singapore Open. I missed an opportunity on the 16th hole … I bogeyed 12 and 13. Those were tough holes,” Pagunsan told the asiantour.com.
Que also had a chance to fight for the title after finishing his third round with an eagle on No. 18 for a second straight 69 but struggled to a closing 74.
The three-time winner on the Asian Tour went two-under through four holes of the final round but bogeys on No. 9 and 10 pulled him back to even.
He struggled to get back on track and finished with a double-bogey seven at No. 18 for a 5-under 279 total in joint 11th, giving him US$14,721 (around P735,000).
Miguel Tabuena had a closing 73 for a 286 total and a share of 46th spot worth US$4,900 (around P275,000).
Tony Lascuna wound up in joint 51st after a final-round 73 and a 287 total, bagging US$3,787 (about P184,000).