Singapore, November 13 – Filipino Juvic Pagunsan and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano will return to Sentosa Golf Club on Monday morning to continue their playoff for the Barclays Singapore Open title after thunderstorms forced the suspension of play.
Both players finished the US$6 million championship tied on 14-under-par 270 after a dramatic third and final round duel at Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course. Pagunsan started the day five shots behind leader Fernandez-Castano, but charged into contention with a superb four-under-par 67, highlighted by huge birdie putts on the 15th and 18th holes.
Fernandez-Castano wobbled on the back nine to throw away his lead with bogeys on 12, 14 and 15. When Pagunsan birdied the closing hole from 12 feet, the Spaniard hit his drive into the water but brilliantly saved par, holing an 18-foot putt to force extra time.
Pagunsan put his drive in the first play-off hole on the fairway while his rival put it in the bunker when officials suspended play due to the threat of lightning. They went out again in the late evening but only had time to hit their second shots when play was suspended again. Both players were left with short approaches to the 18th green, with Pagunsan to play first.
Irrespective of what happens tomorrow, Pagunsan will take over the top spot on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit as the first place cheque is US$1 million while the runner-up will take home US$666,660. Current leader S.S.P. Chowrasia, who leads the merit race with US$444,528 missed the halfway cut, as did the next three players on the rankings – Tetsuji Hiratsuka, David Gleeson and Siddikur.
If Pagunsan wins, he will pick up his second Asian Tour title and become the first Filipino to win a joint-sanctioned European Tour event.
“I’m really happy with how I played. Even if I win or lose now, I’ve already saved my card for next year. I’m really happy. But I’m hoping to win tomorrow. I’ll go back now and have a good rest and get ready again,” said the 33-year-old Filipino.
Fernandez-Castano was relieved to stay in contention for his fifth career win: “I was feeling the pressure because it has been a long time without a victory and I want this one desperately. My game was just not there, the putter wasn’t working and I made it tough for myself but at the very end to make that par on the last made my day,” said the Spaniard.
199 – Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) 66-66-67, Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTANO (ESP) 66-61-72 (Sudden-death play-off to resume Monday, 7.30am)
200 – Anthony KIM (USA) 70-66-64, Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 72-63-65.
201 – Joost LUITEN (NED) 69-65-67, Danny LEE (NZL) 68-65-68, Edoardo MOLINARI (ITA) 62-68-71.
202 – James MORRISON (ENG) 62-68-72.
203 – Tjaart VAN DER WALT (RSA) 71-65-67, Justin ROSE (ENG) 69-65-69.
204 – Steve WEBSTER (ENG) 69-69-66, Anders HANSEN (DEN) 69-64-71.
205 – Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 65-72-68, Himmat RAI (IND) 70-69-66, Shane LOWRY (IRL) 67-70-68, Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 67-69-69, Graeme MCDOWELL (NIR) 68-71-66, Richie RAMSAY (SCO) 69-65-71.
206 – Miguel Angel JIMENEZ (ESP) 73-65-68, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 75-63-68, David HORSEY (ENG) 69-69-68, Angelo QUE (PHI) 71-68-67.
207 – Ernie ELS (RSA) 72-66-69, Y.E. YANG (KOR) 63-71-73
208 – Phil MICKELSON (USA) 71-67-70, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 66-72-70.