Juvic poised for Apo win

Subscribe Now August 14, 2011 at 12:50pm

In-form Juvic Pagunsan made Apo Golf and Country Club look like a pitch-and-putt course Thursday, firing a second straight 66 for a commanding eight-shot lead going into the final round of the ICTSI Apo Classic. It was a dominating performance for the Tour leader who eagled the 18th hole for the second straight day.

Rookie Jhonnel Ababa, tied with Pagunsan at the start of the day, dropped five shots in the par-5, eighth hole and finished with a 74, still good for solo second place.

One-under after seven holes, Ababa hooked his three-wood into the creek, tried to shape his five-iron around the trees only to find his ball resting on the base of a tree trunk. He took a penalty drop and dumped his fifth shot on the bunker.

A poor blast resulted in a three-putt 9.

“Nahilo ako sa dami ng palo,” said Ababa who recovered with two birdies coming home.

Everyone else was shaking their heads following Pagunsan’s dizzying performance in the afternoon.

Pagunsan breezed through the opening nine holes at five-under, dropping a 25-foot downhill putt for that eagle. He pumped his fist in celebration and acknowledged the cheers of a small crowd.

He made his first and only bogey on the 245-yard, par-3 No. 4 when his five-wood tee shot ended on the left side of the green. He chipped to within 10 feet, but missed, one of the few makeable putts he did not make.

Pagunsan quickly recovered with a birdie on the par-5, No. 6 and buried another 25-footer for his fifth birdie for the day on the par-3, seventh hole.

At 12-under through 36 holes, Pagunsan has a chance to break the 15-under winning score he himself set at Orchard this year.

A victory on Friday will be Pagunsan’s fourth this year and seventh overall since the tour’s inaugural in 2009. He has so far amassed P1.15 million after seven legs of the tour.

Pagunsan will be paired with Ababa and Michael Bibat for Friday’s final round which has been virtually reduced into a battle for second place.

Bibat shot a steady 70 to tie Ababa and Jerson Balasabas at three-under.

Balasabas closed out with a birdie on the 18th to salvage even par.

Youthful Miguel Tabuena finished with three straight birdies for a 70 and a share of fifth place at two-under 142 with Danny Zarate (71), Elmer Saban (72) and Elmer Salvador (73).

Source: mb.com.ph

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