MANILA, Philippines - Juvic Pagunsan charged home with back-to-back birdies but settled for joint runner-up finish with a 68 as Thai Thaworn Wiratchant closed out with an eagle for a 68 and won the Queen’s Cup crown by three at the Santiburi Samui Country Club in Koh Samui, Thailand yesterday.
Miguel Tabuena, who had shared the lead in the first three rounds, cracked under pressure and never recovered from a double-bogey start and a 41 at the turn, finishing with a 76 and tumbling down to joint 10th at 285.
Three down at the start of the final round, Pagunsan fell farther behind with two bogeys in the first three holes but fought back with two birdies in the next three holes to take the cudgels for Tabuena.
A bogey on the par-5 eighth, however, slowed down Pagunsan, who made the turn at 37 but rattled a pair of back-to-back birdies (Nos. 12-13 and Nos. 17-18) for a 31 and a 68 and a 280 worth P1.1 million.
He momentarily tied Wiratchant at four-under total but the Thai birdied No. 16 to surge ahead for good, dashing whatever playoff bid Pagunsan had with an eagle-3 on the par-5 18th which Wiratchant bogeyed in the third round.
Wiratchant wound up with a 277 and took home the top purse of $47,550 while Pagunsan and Siddikur split the combined purse of $50,850.
Still, it was an impressive finish for Pagunsan, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, who had a shaky start of 75-72 until he shot a 65 in the third round to wheel back into contention.
But it was a sorry windup for the 17-year-old Tabuena, who had looked ready for the big win after racking up two leg victories back home on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour and hanging tough with the Asian Tour’s leading players in the first three rounds of the $300,000 event.
But he opened the final round on the wrong foot, dropping two strokes right on the first hole. He fumbled with a bogey on No. 4 then made a 7 on the par-5 sixth to drop out of contention with a birdie-less 41.
Unlike in the second and third rounds where he rebounded with solid finishes, Tabuena failed to do the trick this time, dropping another shot on No. 11. He did hit birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 but bogeyed two of the next three holes before holing out with a birdie for a 35 and 76.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh tied Pagunsan at second with a 71 while India’s Himmat Rai and Dutch Guido Van der Valk ended up tied for fourth at 281.