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.

  • Senators fail to grill DND, AFP officials on chopper deal officials on
    Senators fail to grill DND, AFP officials on chopper deal officials on

    Senators yesterday failed to grill defense and military officials over the P1.21-billion deal for the purchase of 21 Huey helicopters for the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the joint venture of Rice Aircraft Service Inc. and Eagle Copters Ltd. Francis Escudero and Joseph Victor Ejercito were interested to know why the defense department entered into a deal to buy secondhand helicopters when it is supposed to be modernizing the Armed Forces. “I am looking at the Armed Forces of the …

  • Revilla wants to undergo therapy for aching heels
    Revilla wants to undergo therapy for aching heels

    Detained Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. has asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to undergo therapy sessions for two weeks to treat his aching heels and back pains. In a motion filed before the anti-graft court’s First Division on Monday, Revilla’s lawyers said the senator should undergo further medical examination and treatment of his back and feet, including physical therapy at least three times a week or six sessions for two weeks, at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital at Camp …

  • Noul may intensify into typhoon – Pagasa
    Noul may intensify into typhoon – Pagasa

    Tropical Storm Noul was forecast to intensify into a typhoon before it enters the Philippine area of responsibility today, but state weather forecasters said it was unlikely to hit landmass. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Noul, which will be locally named Dodong, is expected to skirt the country’s eastern coast, bringing light to moderate with occasional heavy rains over areas in Central and Northern Luzon this weekend. Rene …

  • US fans sue Manny for hiding injury
    US fans sue Manny for hiding injury

    Two Nevada men filed a class-action lawsuit against Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday, seeking millions in damages because they say he fraudulently concealed a shoulder injury before his defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. It is just the latest fallout from Mayweather’s victory in Las Vegas on Saturday in a unanimous decision, with Pacquiao saying afterwards that the shoulder complaint hampered his performance in the welterweight world title showdown. The plaintiffs argue that by failing to go public with …

  • Phl expects China to attend APEC summit in November
    Phl expects China to attend APEC summit in November

    The Philippines expects all 21 leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member-economies, including China, to attend the summit here in November. “This is a multilateral meeting, not a bilateral meeting so there is a big difference between the two... when they come here anyway, APEC does not talk of politics, it’s all economic,” Paynor said. Yesterday at the Kalayaan grounds of Malacañang, the Asian Carmakers Corp. (ACC) held a ceremonial turnover of a fleet of BMW vehicles to be used for …

  • Noy to promote Phl in Canada
    Noy to promote Phl in Canada

    President Aquino left for the United States and Canada yesterday, bearing news of his administration’s accomplishments and hoping to attract more investments and tourists. Aquino noted the US and Canada are home to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos and have been reliable partners of the Philippines for a very long time. The two countries, he said, are participants in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November to be hosted by the Philippines. The President is expected to arrive …

  • Rockers Lifehouse go indie and find unexpected fans
    Rockers Lifehouse go indie and find unexpected fans

    Rockers Lifehouse have gone indie for their latest album. "Either it's that, or there are a few hundred people there making a lot of noise," bassist Bryce Soderberg said. With an assist from Facebook to connect with fans, Lifehouse also played the Philippines in 2012 before a crowd of 17,000 -- the largest ever for the band as headliners. Lifehouse has sold more than 15 million albums with hits such as "Hanging by a Moment" and "You and Me," part of the hard-edged but pop-driven alternative …

  • Philippines says notorious bomb-maker killed by rebels

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Filipino bomb-maker who was one of the country's top terror suspects was killed by Muslim rebels who earlier signed a peace deal with the government, the Philippine military said Wednesday. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options