Manila, February 29: American Edward Michaels captured the US$150,000 DHL Philippine Open title by three strokes today to deny local amateur Juvic Pagunsan his day of glory.
The 27-year-old Michaels, playing in only his second event in Asia, fired a two-under-par 69 in the final round at Riviera Golf and Country Club and triumphed with a four-day total of two-under-par 282. He picked up the winners cheque of US$24,225 in the Asian Tour event.
The Atlanta-based American survived a late mishap on the 15th hole when he picked up a two-stroke penalty for removing loose impediment from a bunker which led to a double bogey six but he still prevailed as his closest challengers failed to mount late title bids.
Michaels was the only player in the field to shoot under par in what is Asia s oldest national Open.
Pagunsan, 25, was bidding to become only the third amateur player to win the Philippine Open but the joint overnight leader got off to the worst possible start with bogeys on his first two holes as he signed for a 74 to take second place.
Englands Jonathan Cheetham finished tied third with Australian Adam Groom, six shots behind the winner. Groom, who entered the final round tied for the lead, stumbled to an outward 40 en route to a 77.
Taiwans Chen Yuan-chi finished tied fifth with qualifying school graduate Richard Moir on 289.
Starting the day two off the lead, Michaels quickly took control with four birdies on his first six holes but he dropped three straight bogeys from the seventh hole. An eagle three on the par five 10th settled his nerves and after his dropped shots on 15, he birdied 16 for good measure to win with ease.
Michaels, who picked up golf at a relative late age of 18, earned his Asian Tour card from Qualifying School in January but missed the cut in the Thailand Open. He featured on the Hooters Tour in America last year, winning once and securing three runner-up outings.
Final round scores
282 – Edward Michaels (USA) 70-74-69-69
285 – Juvic Pagunsan [A] (PHI) 75-70-66-74
288 – Jonathan Cheetham (ENG) 70-71-74-73, Adam Groom (AUS) 65-75-71-77
289 – Chen Yuan-chi (TPE) 71-74-73-71, Richard Moir (AUS) 69-73-73-74
290 – Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) 73-72-76-69
291 – Scott Taylor (USA) 72-73-75-71, Adam Fraser (AUS) 71-73-74-73, Amandeep Johl (IND) 67-74-75-75
292 – Rick Gibson (CAN) 72-75-73-72, Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 69-74-73-76
293 – Greg Hanrahan (USA) 71-77-74-71, Alistair Presnell (AUS) 71-74-74-74, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 68-71-75-79
294 – Jay Bayron [A] (PHI) 70-76-74-74, Danny Zarate (PHI) 72-73-74-75, Glenn Joyner (AUS) 72-74-73-75
295 – Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 72-73-77-73, Bryan Saltus (USA) 75-73-75-72
296 – Clay Devers (USA) 73-75-78-70, Sushi Ishigaki (JPN) 72-75-76-73, Angelo Que (PHI) 72-71-77-76, David Gleeson (AUS) 69-74-77-76
297 – Gary Rusnak (USA) 71-74-79-73, Danilo Delos Santos (PHI) 73-74-78-72, Ross Bain (SCO) 72-76-76-73, S. Sivachandran [A] (MAS) 71-76-76-74, Lin Chie-hsiang (TPE) 72-75-74-76, Attaphon Prathummanee (THA) 74-75-71-77
298 – Yeh Chang-ting (TPE) 75-72-80-71, Morne Van Rensburg (RSA) 70-79-77-72, Sung Mao-chang (TPE) 76-74-76-72, Vivek Bhandari (IND) 73-72-78-75, Antolin Fernando (PHI) 74-75-73-76
299 – Satoshi Tomiyama (JPN) 71-79-80-69, Marvin Dumandan [A] (PHI) 71-79-75-74, Uttam Singh Mundy (IND) 73-73-76-77, Robert Pactolerin (PHI) 70-78-73-78
300 – Lu Wei-lan (TPE) 72-73-84-71, Edwin Sanchez (PHI) 71-76-75-78, Tomokazu Yoshinaga (JPN) 79-71-73-77, Jamnian Chitprasong (THA) 75-74-72-79
301 – Anthony Kang (USA) 71-74-82-74, Vic Santia (PHI) 74-76-77-74, Danny Chia (MAS) 71-78-78-74
302 – Jerome Delariarte (PHI) 72-75-76-79, Weng Young-tien (TPE) 70-76-75-81, Edwin Estrera (PHI) 69-76-76-81
303 – Lin Wen-hong (TPE) 72-78-80-73, Marlon Dizon (PHI) 73-76-78-76, Elmer Salvador (PHI) 71-78-77-77, Airil Rizman Zahari (MAS) 74-73-79-77, Rodrigo Cuello (PHI) 75-74-77-77, Eiji Mizoguchi (JPN) 71-78-76-78
304 – Benjie Magada (PHI) 70-78-79-77, Edgar Ababa (PHI) 72-75-80-77, Marciano Pucay (PHI) 71-79-74-80, Amritinder Singh (IND) 73-75-76-80 305 – Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 71-76-80-78
306 – Rodolfo Ardimar (PHI) 74-76-80-76, Ashok Kumar (IND) 71-78-81-76, Raymund Sangil [A] (PHI) 73-76-80-77
307 – Don Klenk (USA) 71-78-77-81, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 73-77-76-81
310 – Tomoo Bise (JPN) 72-78-80-80, Peter Minoza (PHI) 74-74-80-82
312 – Chen Tze-chung (TPE) 77-73-80-82, Ebarra Quiachon (PHI) 72-78-81-81
313 – Artemio Murakami [A] (PHI) 70-80-82-81
315 – Lito Rempojo (PHI) 71-77-80-87