JUVIC Pagunsan went off to a faltering start and came up with a dismal 76 as other top players struggled on a tough opening day in the Japan Open 2012 Thursday at the Naha Golf Club in Okinawa.
The 34-year-old Pagunsan had three bogeys on each nine and hit just one birdie, on the par-5 No. 10, to end up four strokes off the pace on a day when no one in the 114-player field managed to score even par.
Five players wound up sharing the lead at one-over 72, with Brad Kennedy of Australia having a rollercoaster round with nines of 36-36. Local bet Nobuhito Sato, Jay Choi of the US and Korea’s Jung Gon Hwang and S K Ho also scored 72.
Pagunsan, top money earner on the Asian Tour last year and now looking to establish himself on the Japan Tour, was in a big group tied for 21st place.
Yuta Ikeda, winner of the Canon Open last week, had an opening 78.