Filipino golf star Pagunsan feeling the pressure

Filipino star and reigning Asian Tour number one Juvic Pagunsan admits that the pressure is on at the Queen's Cup starting on Thursday in Thailand as he chases his first title on the tour since 2007.

The 34-year-old, who last season became the first man from the Philippines to capture the Order of Merit, leads the field at the $300,000 event at Santiburi Samui Country Club in the holiday spot of Koh Samui.

His biggest challengers are likely to be title-holder Chawalit Plaphol and fellow local hopes Prom Meesawat, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thaworn Wiratchant.

Bangladeshi Siddikur, Australia's Scott Hend and Anirban Lahiri of India -- who are in the top-10 of the Merit list -- are also strong contenders.

"I'm really excited to be playing. I'm hitting it good. Recently, I played well in Japan, finished fourth in the last couple of weeks," Pagunsan told the Asian Tour.

"Samui is one of the best places in Asia. Everybody wants to come here."

Pagunsan shot to fame last season when he lifted the Merit crown thanks largely to a second-place finish at the cash-rich Barclays Singapore Open.

But with only one victory to his name, back in 2007, the Filipino, who will compete in the British Open next month, wants to start winning again to justify his status as Asia's number one.

"It's big pressure to be at the top, even for me. You need to concentrate and play well to prove to people how you got there is not by chance," said Pagunsan, who finished third in the 2010 Queen's Cup.

"I'm still trying to be a better player. This course is tough. You need to hit it straight, which is a big challenge. If you miss your drive or miss your second shot, it'll be tough to come back."

Home star Chawalit, who has been victorious twice at the course nicknamed the Samui Beast, is banking on his local knowledge to successfully defend his crown.

"It's a big tournament for Thai players. Everyone wants to win the Queen's Trophy. There is no pressure as the defending champion. I'm quite relaxed," he said.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino
    Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino

    Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday. "We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into," Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China's position. The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane away from airspace …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Gasoline prices up, diesel down
    Gasoline prices up, diesel down

    Oil companies announced yesterday a price hike of 50 centavos per liter for gasoline and a rollback of 50 centavos per liter for diesel effective at 6 a.m. today. Independent oil firms were among the first to announce the price adjustment. In an advisory, PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm said it cut diesel prices by 50 centavos per liter and increased gasoline prices by 50 centavos per liter. …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

  • Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions
    Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions

    The Philippines will not recognize restrictions on air and sea travel set by China in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino said yesterday. “We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various conventions, agreements that have been entered into through various decades,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview after inspecting the Marikina Elementary School in preparation for the opening of classes in June. “Maybe we should not think about getting …

  • Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June
    Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June

    Filipinos may have to wait until the second or third week of June for rain, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday. Rene Paciente, chief of PAGASA’s marine meteorological services section, said they expect the rainy season to start in the second or third week of June. The criteria for declaring the onset of the rainy season include the prevalence of the southwest monsoon and the 25-millimeter rainfall recorded in at least five …

  • UN urged to probe torture cases under Noy’s term
    UN urged to probe torture cases under Noy’s term

    The United Nations has been asked to look into   110 cases of torture and numerous cases of illegal arrests during the Aquino administration. Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary-general, yesterday said the matter could be looked into when the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) visits from May 25 to June 3 to monitor the  implementation of the Optional protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OpCAT), which the Philippines ratified in 2012. “We enjoin the UN SPT to …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options