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- The 2011 Barclays Singapore Open
Pagunsan shoots to top of Asian rankings after runner-up finish at Barclays Singapore Open
Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines earned some measure of consolation with his runner-up finish at the US$6 million Barclays Singapore Open on Monday morning with the biggest cheque of his career – a mammoth US$666,660 – shooting him up to the top of the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.
Pagunsan was pipped to the title in Asia’s richest national Open at the Sentosa Golf Club by Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who won the rain-shortened event with a birdie on the second play-off hole.
The 33-year-old Filipino now leads the race to become Asia’s number one after the top-four ranked players on the merit list – S.S.P. Chowrasia of India, Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Australian David Gleeson and Bangladeshi Siddikur – all missed the halfway cut in Singapore.
With a season’s collection of US$721,298, Pagunsan is primed to become the first Filipino to win the prestigious Order of Merit title with only three events remaining on the 2011 Asian Tour Schedule.
“It surprises me because I am in the top now – I almost lost my card this year. It is a surprise. I will play the rest of the events in Asia,” said Pagunsan, whose lone victory on the Asian Tour was the 2007.
“I want to get the Order of Merit (title). I really want to get that. It is a big achievement for my life.”
It was the second time that Pagunsan’s hopes of winning a co-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event were dashed by a Spaniard as he also finished second behind Jose Manuel Lara in the 2006 Hong Kong Open, the year he was named Rookie of the Year.
His earnings this morning nearly matched his career’s total - he has won approximately US$930,000 in the six seasons that he has spent on the Asian Tour.
Pagunsan will now head to the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia, which is just across the border from Singapore to compete in the US$2 million tournament, which is also sanctioned with the European Tour for the first time.