REY Pagunsan and Aidric Chan used a solid frontside game to regain control then ripped the field with a superb back nine for a closing 69, ruling the Delimondo Pro-Am championship on Saturday at Taal Splendido Golf Club in Laurel, Batangas.
Pagunsan and Chan finished six strokes ahead of Spain’s Marcos Pastor and Nicole Abelar.
Not even a bogey in the rain at the finish could stop Pagunsan and Chan from nailing the crown they had virtually bagged with a 34 start as the duo stormed to leads to as many as seven after Chan rolled in their fourth birdie on No. 16 as their rivals faded one after the other in overcast skies.
“I couldn’t have picked a better partner. Aidric’s so good,” said Pagunsan of his teammate, a fellow Southwoods bet and the reigning national junior champion, who set up Pagunsan for two birdies at the front that they used as a springboard to overpower the field with a 54-hole total of four-under 212.
The first on No. 1 from 10 feet and the second from 45 feet on the par-3 No. 8.
“Tsamba yun (No. 8) but I really didn’t expect we could win it until we pulled away at the back,” said Pagunsan, ecstatic after earning P500,000 he said he would use for his campaign on the Philippine Golf Tour starting in Bacolod next month.
It was Pagunsan’s second victory in team play after his partnership with Ryan Monsalve at Veterans last year but the 51-year-old former national team mainstay remained winless in individual competition that stretches back to over a decade ago.
Chan received merchandise and gift packs from the sponsoring Delimondo and organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with the victory also boosting his confidence and giving him some kind of momentum heading to the SEA Games team qualifying tournament at Luisita next month.
While their rivals hobbled and stumbled over the rolling, hazard-laden layout, Pagunsan and Chan kept their poise and kept playing as one solid team, overcoming a two-stroke deficit to second-round leaders Daniella Uy and brother Lanz early to move 3-up over Art Arbole and Joel Yamyamin. They sustained their form at the back that proved too much for the Uy siblings and Arbole and Yamyamin, who yielded strokes after strokes trying to match Pagunsan and Chan’s impressive games.
That enabled the erstwhile 10th-running Pastor and Abelar to snatch second place at 218 after a 69 worth P335,000 for the pro while Joseph Suarez and Paqo Barro also snared third place at 220 worth P190,000 for Suarez.
Omar Dungca and Carl Corpus carded a 75 to tie Arbole-Yamyamin, who skied to a 77, and the Uys, who limped with an 80, at third at 221.
The Arbole-Yamyamin tandem reeled from four straight bogeys from No. 13 and wound up with a while the Uy siblings bogeyed four of the last eight after closing out the frontside with back-to-back double bogeys and bowed out of the title race in the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc.