REIGNING Asian Tour No. 1 Juvic Pagunsan has ‘unfinished business’ to attend to when he returns to the US$6 million Barclays Singapore Open next month.
Pagunsan lost in a Monday play-off to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain at Sentosa Golf Club last season but his runner-up result saw him become the first Filipino to win the coveted Order of Merit crown.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the Barclays Singapore Open and will be 100 percent focused. A second-place finish last year was good but I felt I was a bit unlucky to lose in the playoff,” said Pagunsan.
The Singapore Open is set on November 8-11 at Sentosa Golf Club.
“I have a lot of good memories because I was fighting for my Asian Tour card before the event and suddenly I’m winning the Order of Merit. It was definitely a memorable achievement that I won’t forget,” he added.
The smooth-swinging Filipino will be joined by some of the world’s top golfers including world No. 1 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Adam Scott of Australia, American Phil Mickelson and 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
After struggling earlier in the season, Pagunsan has enjoyed some late-season form and made seven consecutive cuts in Japan including a joint fourth finish in the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open and second place in the Japan Open.
Pagunsan is wary of the challenging Serapong course but is confident of shining again and ending a five-year title drought on the Asian Tour.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect to play so well at the Barclays Singapore Open last year. I wasn’t playing well in the last couple of months so there were some nerves,” said the Filipino.
“The golf course is tough because the rough is thick and the course is long. It will be windy and we normally have a lot of rain. It is always tough playing in Singapore. You need to hit it straight or you will find yourself in trouble. I’ve enjoyed some good finishes in Japan recently and hope I can continue in Singapore,” added Pagunsan.
Fan favorite John Daly from America, Korea’s Y. E. Yang, the first Asian to win a Major, and 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland have also confirmed their participation.