Asian Tour: PHL’s Pagunsan grabs Order of Merit lead

15 11 2011

The “bad boy” of Philippine fairways Juvic Pagunsan now ranks No.1 in the 2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit after a losing a playoff to Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in the Barclays Singapore Open. The heart-breaking loss gave him a  $666,660 consolation prize. Pagunsan has now earned $721,298.60 of prize money this. The amount is around $280,000 more than erstwhile leader S.S.P. Chowrasia of India who missed the cut in tournament jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

He has been sizzling in the local circuit earlier this year winning 4 events before being suspended by the local golf tour for failure to properly register his caddie. He also had several run-ins and incident this season at the fairways. In the Asian circuit, the 1997 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year was only ranked 54th and was in danger of losing his tour card before his breakthrough performance at Sentosa last weekend.

The no.2 finish vaulted the 33 year old Pagunsan to the Top 200 in the World Rankings.  He now sits at 177th, 300 rungs higher than his previous rank.  He gained 27.6 points in the Singapore Open. Winner Fernandez-Castano gained 46 points. The runner-up prize almost the double the Filipino’s career earnings as he earned only $930,000 in the 6 seasons in the Asian Tour. He now breaks the 1 Million dollar barrier and if he keeps it up, he will be the first Filipino to top the Asian Tour Order of Merit and get a chance to play in the majors.

Pagunsan celebrates!

Pos. Player Winnings (US$)
1. Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI)  $721,298.60
2. S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND) $444,528.50
3. Tetsuji HIRATSUKA (JPN) $435,817.93
4. Jbe KRUGER   (RSA) $342,283.62
5. Thaworn WIRATCHANT   (THA) $297,484.63
6. David GLEESON   (AUS) $292,880.00
7. SIDDIKUR   (BAN) $266,028.04
8. LU Wei-chih   (TPE) $259,080.47
9. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT   (THA) $218,867.81
10. Thongchai JAIDEE   (THA) $201,020.74