Pagunsan Claims Maiden Win at Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational

Sun 28 Oct 2007

Pagunsan Claims Maiden Win at Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational

Jakarta, October 28: Filipino star Juvic Pagunsan enjoyed an emotional maiden triumph at the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational on Sunday.

The 29-year-old champion broke into tears when he produced his breakthrough win at the Damai Indah Golf ? BSD Course as he walked away with the winner?s cheque of US$55,475. He blasted a final round of seven-under-par 65 for a winning total of 19-under-par 269 at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course.

With the win, Pagunsan leaped up to 33rd position on the Asian Tour?s UBS Order of Merit with total earnings of US$92,027.

Pagunsan, who was the Asian Tour?s Rookie of the Year in 2006, romped home in style with a birdie on the 17th and an eagle at the final 18th hole as he forced Indian rookie Gaganjeet Bhullar to claim second position a stroke behind after a 69. Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood holed a lengthy 25 foot putt for eagle on his final hole to finish with a 70 as he ended his campaign in tied third spot alongside American Anthony Kang who shot a 71.

?I am speechless, it was the perfect finish for me. I?ve enjoyed my time on the Asian Tour and this is what I?ve been waiting for in my career,? said Pagunsan.

?I would like to dedicate this win to my wife (Maria Eleana) and my daughter (LJ) as they?ve supported me all the way. I would like to thank my sponsors and everyone who has been there for me,? added the Filipino young gun.

Pagunsan, who shot a 71 in the third round, was three strokes off the pace heading into the final round but four birdies on the front nine set him on the right path. He chalked up his fifth birdie of the day on the 13th hole before a dropped shot on the 15th hole. He trailed Bhullar by two strokes but with three holes to play, Pagunsan produced a stunning finish striking a birdie on the 17th and an eagle on the 18th hole.

?I wasn?t hitting it too well coming into this tournament but Tony Lascuna and Jerome Delariarte gave me a good tip on my swing which helped. They said I was moving too much on my swing so I remained focused, adjusted well for a top finish.

?I was very confident with my putting this week and I never doubted myself on the 17th hole. After a solid drive on the following 18th hole, I was 205 yards away from the pin and I used a six iron where the ball landed seven feet short. I was thinking only of an eagle and it rolled in nicely so I?m extremely happy,? admitted Pagunsan.

With five birdies against two bogeys, Bhullar was ahead of Pagunsan and completed his round with a one stroke lead before the eagle by the Filipino ended Bhullar?s chances of a maiden win in his rookie season.

?I am happy for Juvic as he played well. I enjoyed myself out there and I know that my time will come. I love this course and I would like to be in contention in future events,? said Bhullar, with 10 amateur wins in the domestic circuit before turning pro in 2006.

?It was quite a nervous wait but I remained cool because in golf anything can happen. This is a really good result for me and I will be looking forward to a strong finish this season,? added the 19-year-old Indian stalwart.

Englishman Westwood, with wins in Japan, Macau and Malaysia, shot his second straight 70 thanks to an eagle on the final hole as he finished in joint third.

?I could find my rhythm on the greens until the very end. But I had a good time here and it?s been a great experience playing on this course. Congratulations to Juvic who enjoyed a great finish,? said Westwood.

Leading final round scores

269 - Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 66-67-71-65

270 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 70-64-67-69

272 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 67-65-70-70, Anthony Kang (USA) 67-65-69-71

273 - Scott Barr (AUS) 70-71-66-66, Prom Meesawat (THA) 65-70-68-70, Harmeet Kahlon (IND) 66-68-70-69

274 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 70-67-71-66, Mark Brown (NZL) 70-66-71-67

275 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 72-68-71-64, Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) 67-69-69-70, Neven Basic (AUS) 65-67-72-71

276 - Hur In-hoi (KOR) 65-69-69-73

277 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 70-69-69-69, Hsu Mong-nan (TPE) 68-69-70-70, Digvijay Singh (IND) 67-66-74-70, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 70-62-72-73


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