LYTHAM, England – Asian Tour number one Juvic Pagunsan overcame his nerves to fire a one-over par 71 on Thursday in his major debut at the British Open.
The Filipino standout, who won last season’s Order of Merit, had two birdies against three bogeys, the last coming on the 18th hole at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
“I would have taken this at the start of the round,” Pagunsan said. “I was a bit nervous on the first tee when they called my name, being my first major and with the crowds there.
“However, it was very exciting to come out for the first day. I focused on my swing and how I wanted to put my ball on the fairway. If you miss it’s tough. I missed my drive on the left on 18 and I was actually lucky to make bogey.”
While Pagunsan, 34, gave himself a solid chance to make the cut, his putter let him down several times.
“I hit it really good but missed a lot of putts and a lot of opportunities,” he said. “The touch wasn’t good enough. Hopefully tomorrow.”
He was disappointed to bogey two of the par three holes on his outward nine.
“Missed my tee shots on five and nine. Nine is not really good as I only had a short iron on the tee. It was really bad,” he said.
“Towards the end of my round, it was a bit freezing on my hands when the winds started to blow a bit. It wasn’t good enough but I’ll take this score.”
“My wife said to try to make the cut first and then think about the last two days. I have been talking to her every night. She has been telling me to relax and enjoy the occasion. I’m trying.”