Filipino goes solo at Open in first links test

Filipino Juvic Pagunsan, the number one player on the Asian Tour, hopes his decision to travel alone for his major debut will reap rewards when the 141st British Open starts on Thursday.

Pagnusan, the first man from the Philippines to win the Order of Merit last year, has no family or friends to cheer him on at Royal Lytham and St Annes but that suits him just fine.

"I find that travelling alone for tournaments is much better as there will be no distractions," Pagunsan said. "You just think about yourself and don't have to think about your friends. It will be easier for me to focus on the tournament."

Pagnusan, whose caddie will be a friend's brother who lives in England, was greeted by heavy rain and wind when he played his first practice round on Monday, his first taste of links golf.

"So much rain on Monday and I couldn't really see the golf course -- it was a good introduction to the Open for me," he said.

"It was very difficult. The winds kept changing. I didn't really like it as it was so difficult. You have to keep the clubs dry all the time. The course is wet. Bunkers here are different too.

"But it’s really nice being here. I will be trying my best."

Pagunsan, 34, is aiming first and foremost about simply trying to reach the weekend.

"There are so many good players here," he said. "However, I feel like I'm hitting the ball good. I’ll try to make the cut first. I want to play in the weekend."

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