Pagunsan takes a gamble at the Solaire Open

Wed 10 Apr 2013

Pagunsan takes a gamble at the Solaire Open

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Manila, April 10: Juvic Pagunsan hopes to cradle the inaugural Solaire Open trophy and a new born baby boy when he bids for a long-awaited second Asian Tour title at the US$300,000 event which starts on Thursday.
The Filipino star is gearing up for a pressure-packed week as his wife (Len) is expected to give birth to their second child within a fortnight.
“It is a bit of a pressure for me because I’m worried about my wife. She doesn’t have a driver so I’ll have to fetch her to the doctor. My daughter knows how to contact me when the time comes. It isn’t easy. I had to come early for a practice round today (Wednesday), play nine holes and return home to take care of my wife,” said Pagunsan.
Pagunsan, the first Filipino to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2011, remains steadfast that he can overcome the strong challenges from the elite field this week and end a six-year title drought on the region’s premier Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season.
“I think we are all happy with this new event on the Asian Tour and in the Philippines. This new tournament is big for all of us. I’ll try my best to win. I’m hitting the ball good. I need luck to win. I’ve come close on so many occasions but I just need that stroke of luck to win again,” he said.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore Mardan Mamat of Singapore
He is wary of the challenging Wack Wack Golf and Country Club and rates the par three eighth hole, which has narrow fairways and an elevated green, as a ‘monster’.
“The par three eighth hole is very hard. It is a ‘monster’ hole for me. I think everybody will find it tough when they reach that hole. The greens are elevated and if you miss it, your ball might roll down the slope. Honestly, I don’t know this golf course as well as the other Filipino players. So I don’t think I have an advantage here,” added Pagunsan.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore, who is aiming to relive his winning memories at the 2012 Philippine Open, said Wack Wack is a planning course and does not always reward the long hitters.
“Most of my victories came on old courses and this is one of the courses which I like to play on. You need to have good course management. It is not all about power here. You need to know where you have to place the ball and not just hit it strong off the tees,” said the 45-year-old.
“It is more fun when you can shape the ball instead of just hitting it long. Hitting long balls is the key for most of the players but I like to make shots and think about what shots to hit. It is not always about hitting hard,” he added.
Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun, currently fifth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, China’s Hu Mu, who enjoyed a runner-up result in Chiangmai two weeks ago and Scott Barr of Australia are among the players from 22 countries vying for honours this week.
Hu, ranked 27th on the Order of Merit, makes a return to the Wack Wack East course, a familiar course where he finished tied 33rd at the Philippine Open last year.
Scott Barr of Australia Scott Barr of Australia
“I feel good coming back to this course. I’m familiar with the course since I played here last year. Staying in the same hotel, playing on the same golf course, it’s really nice coming back to play here,” said Hu.
“The course is really difficult. It seems to be catered for golfers who can drive the ball really well. Having played in a couple of Asian Tour events this year, I’ve learnt to take my time when I’m out on the course.”
Barr is inspired by the victories of countrymen Scott Hend and Wade Ormsby, who won the Chiangmai Golf Classic and Panasonic Open India respectively in the last two weeks.
“Having seen Australians winning twice in a row is really a huge motivation for me. It’s good to see Australians playing well again on the tour. I’ll be pretty happy if I can hold the trophy this week!” said Barr.
The rejuvenated Australian, who is coming into the Solaire Open after taking a week’s break, is planning a more conservative approach with hopes that it will lead him to a first Asian Tour win.
“I think there are two ways you can play on this course. You can either be aggressive or conservative. Over the years, I think I’m starting to take on the more conservative way. Hopefully that will pay a little bit of dividends!” he added.
Ends.
About Solaire Resort and Casino
Solaire Resort and Casino is the first to open in the highly anticipated Entertainment City project along the Philippine’s famed Manila Bay.
The first phase includes approximately 500 luxuriously appointed rooms, suites and bayside villas as well as resort-style pool facilities, bars and entertainment lounges. In addition, there is a state-of-the-art ballroom and meeting space, and a fully equipped spa and fitness center.
The resort also features a world-class dining experience at our signature, casual and quick serve restaurants. The new dining avenues are headed by world-renowned chefs and showcase a comprehensive selection of authentic local and international flavors to cater to even the most discerning palate.
And to give you the ultimate Las Vegas gaming experience, Solaire’s expansive 18,500 square-meter casino area stretches two levels of gaming space, including premium VIP salons and an outdoor themed casino and entertainment bar – all loaded with the most popular slot machines and table games, such as Baccarat, Blackjack, Pontoon and many more!
About the Solaire Open
The Solaire Open is a new event on the 2013 Asian Tour Schedule. It is title sponsored by the Solaire Resort and Casino and supported by DOT (Department of Tourism), Hyundai, the Official Mobility, Pru Life UK, the Official Insurer, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, the Official Coffee and Omega, the Official Timekeeper. The suppliers for the event include Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, the Official Hotel, Johnnie Walker, the Official Whiskey, Asahi Super Dry, the Official Beer, Srixon, the Official Ball, Panasonic, the Official Television Provider, Canon, the Office Solutions Provider and PepsiCo, the Official Water and Sports Drinks.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf