NEGRENSE Juvic Pangunsan showed poise and class in the playoff feet to clinch the victory in the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic on Saturday at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club course.
Dragged into a playoff by Jobim Carlos, Pagunsan struck a solid wedge shot from 60 yards to within 5 feet on the second extra hole and made the putt. He then watched Carlos muff his own birdie bid to clinch the crown.
Pangunsan, a native of Murcia, Negros Occidental, closed out the three-day event with a 67 for a nine-under 271 total, which Carlos matched with a 68 on a birdie-par-birdie windup.
“It was an inspiring win. That was my plan and because I made a great approach from 60 yards, it put more pressure on Jobim,” said Pagunsan, who came from an ACL injury.
Pangunsan seemed headed to victory in regulation after shaking off Korean Kim Joo Hyung early and then going 2-up over Carlos with a clutch birdie on No. 14 coupled with Carlos’ bogey on the next.
But Carlos refused to give up as he came through with that fiery windup to stun Pagunsan. But Pagunsan opted for a rather conservative play off the No. 1 tee, hacking out a superb approach shot then banging in the pressure-packed, title-clinching birdie putt.
Jhonnel Ababa finished on third place at 273 after a 67, Zanieboy Gialon was on fourth with a 70 for fourth at 275 while the 16-year-old Kim limped with a three-over 73 and dropped to fifth at 277.
Anthony Fernando rallied with a 67 to tie for sixth with American Pete Vilairatana and Elmer Salvador, who both carded 70s, and Elmer Salvador, who stumbled with a 71, at 278./PN