LYTHAM, England – Reigning Asian Tour number one Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines and South Korean star K.J. Choi endured a nervous wait before making the cut at the British Open after Friday’s second round.
Pagunsan, who teed off in the second group of the morning, imagined he had squandered his chances of making the cut in the after a three-putt bogey on the 18th left him on two-over par 72 for the day and three-over 143 for 36 holes.
“I wanted to make a par there to finish at two over but I made a three putt. A bit disappointing,” Pagunsan said.
“My first putt was too strong. I thought it was going to be a bit slow as it was uphill and then a bit downhill. But my ball passed the hill and then just rolled down. It wasn’t slow.”
The Filipino said he lacked feel in his hands in the early morning cold.
“This morning it was really bad. That’s why I made a few bogeys,” he said. “My hands couldn’t not feel the club. It was really hard. It got better. At the start my body was freezing but I was so happy with the way I played after that.”
Pagunsan, 34, had to wait for over nine hours to learn he had squeezed into the last two rounds at Royal Lytham on the number, a cut line that moved between 142 and 143 before finally settling on the higher number.
The 143 total allowed 16 extra people into the field above the number that landed on 142, including 42-year-old Choi, an eight-time US PGA Tour winner who played in the afternoon.
A double bogey on the third hole put Choi on the back foot but he came back with two birdies on his back nine.
“The third hole, it took me by surprise as the wind changed direction all of a sudden,” Choi said. “I didn’t practice that hole in that wind. The winds were different. I couldn’t play the style the kind of golf that I wanted to play.
“I felt that even on the putting, the slope and grain of the grass, they were different. If it slopes this way, the grain would go the other way.”