Pagunsan slows down, slips to joint 25th; Nievarez ends campaign
Filipino golfer Juvic Pagunsan slipped to joint 25th place on Friday in the Tokyo Olympic Games men’s individual stroke play event which was delayed by inclement weather for the second straight day at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Mr. Pagunsan, 43, finished with 2-over-par 73 in the second round of play, to take his two-round total to 3-under 139.
Earlier in the day, rower Cris Nievarez officially ended his Olympic campaign in the classification phase, finishing 23rd overall out of the 32-man field.
Entering the second round of the men’s golf event, Mr. Pagunsan was on a high following a strong outing in the opening round the previous day that saw him produce a 5-under 66 that thrust him to joint fifth place.
He could not sustain it in Friday’s action in a performance that had him producing four bogeys and two birdies.
Just as Mr. Pagunsan slowed down, some of the top names in the field made their charge.
World no. 13 Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry of Ireland were joint sixth place, climbing 14 and 25 places, respectively, with a two-round total of 7-under 135.
Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz held the lead with him still to play one hole as of this writing, carding a 10-under 65.
Mr. Pagunsan looks to regain some ground when action resumes on Saturday for the third round.
Meanwhile, 21-year-old rower Nievarez officially wrapped up his Tokyo Olympic bid in the men’s single sculls event, finishing fifth in the Final D classification race at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Rower Cris Nievarez officially wrapped up his Tokyo Olympic bid in the men’s single sculls event on Friday, finishing fifth in the Final D classification race at the Sea Forest Waterway. He ended 23rd overall in his event. — Cris Nievarez Faceook page
The Quezon Province native clocked in at seven minutes and 21.28 seconds, landing 23rd overall in the event.
Mr. Nievarez was the first Filipino rower to compete in the Olympics in two decades after Benjamin Tolentino in the 2000 Sydney Games.
“This Olympics made me realize na hindi lang basta pwedi na, laban lang, okay na yan. You need to have proper preparation before ka mag compete sa ganito kataas na Games,” he wrote in Facebook post after the conclusion of his bid.
“And I think I did my very best to try to make it to the final A, pero ayun nga, malaki pa ang kulang. But still, happy for the result 23rd out of 32 competitors, I’ve learned a lot from this competition and I hope this will help me to come back stronger.”
Later on Friday, swimmer Luke Gebbie was to see action in the qualifying heat in the 50m freestyle at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
For Saturday, competing for the Philippines are Mr. Pagunsan (third round golf), EJ Obiena (qualifying men’s pole vault), Carlo Paalam (round of 16 men’s flyweight), and Nesthy Petecio (semifinals women’s featherweight). – Michael Angelo S. Murillo