JUVIC PAGUNSAN struggled to a closing 71 and wound up in joint fourth on Sunday in the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan.
Masanori Kobayashi, 36, who had a disastrous opening 74 in the event co-sanctioned by the Japan Tour and Asian Tour, completed his surge from the back of the pack to claim victory with a final-round 62 for a 17-under 267 aggregate at the Higashi Hirono Golf Club.
Kobayashi, who scored 64-67 in the middle rounds, bagged ¥30,000,000 (more than P15 million), while Pagunsan, top earner in the Asian Tour last year, pocketed ¥6,350,000 (over P3.3 million).
The 34-year-old Pagunsan dropped six shots on the first seven holes, suffering a triple bogey on No. 6, before recovering with six birdies for the even-par round. The parbuster from Bacolod finished at 13-under along with fellow Asian Tour campaigner Shiv Kapur (67) of India and local bet Tomohiro Kondo (70).
Pagunsan entered the final round in solo second after rounds of 67-66-67.
Koumei Oda, who shared third place entering Sunday’s play, scored a 67 to clinch second place at 16 under, while overnight leader Masamichi Uehira had a 71 and ended up in third at 14-under.