October 29, 2007 – Crowd-pleasing Juvic Pagunsan will head to the UBS Hong Kong Open full of confidence after capturing his maiden Asian Tour title in stunning fashion on Sunday.
The charismatic Filipino, who wowed the Hong Kong galleries on his way to the runner-up spot last year, produced a brilliant birdie-eagle finish to win the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational by one stroke.
“I’m speechless, it was the perfect finish for me,” said Pagunsan, 29. “I’ve enjoyed my time on the Asian Tour and this is what I’ve been waiting for in my career.
“I would like to dedicate this win to my wife [Maria Eleana] and my daughter [LJ] as they’ve supported me all the way.”
Pagunsan proved hugely popular at the 2006 UBS Hong Kong Open with his dazzling smile and adventurous golf. He fought out a brilliant duel with José Manuel Lara before his Spanish opponent prevailed by one shot.
The Filipino went one better at Jakarta’s Damai Indah Golf – BSD Course on Sunday, blasting a final round of seven-under-par 65 to edge out Indian rookie Gaganjeet Bhullar by a single stroke.
Pagunsan was just one of several UBS Hong Kong Open contenders to hit form over the weekend.
Chinese No.1 Liang Wenchong finished joint eighth in Jakarta to extend his lead at the top of the Asian Tour’s UBS Order of Merit. He now has season earnings of US$477,950 – a total which puts him US$50,265 ahead of South African Anton Haig.
Evergreen Filipino Frankie Minoza made it a double celebration for his country when he won the Japan Golf Tour’s ABC Championship, beating an opponent 27 years his junior.
Minoza, 47, birdied the first playoff hole to defeat 20-year-old Korean Lee Dong Hwan.
On the European Tour, Grégory Bourdy led a trio of Hong Kong-bound stars who featured strongly in the Mallorca Classic. The Frenchman carded a two-under 67 at Pula Golf Club for a two-shot victory – his first on the European Tour.
Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen finished third while defending Hong Kong champion Lara was joint seventh.
Organisers are compiling a stellar line-up for the US$2.25 million UBS Hong Kong Open, which will be staged at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling on November 15-18.
Two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen and 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir will be joined by fellow PGA Tour stars KJ Choi, Stuart Appleby and Trevor Immelman.
Six-time Major winner Nick Faldo will make a rare playing appearance as he takes on an “ambassadorial” role as a guest of UBS.
The UBS Hong Kong Open is again jointly sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.
The Open was first staged in 1959 – making it the territory’s oldest professional sporting event – and has been held every year at the Hong Kong Golf Club.