This golfer just qualified for the Open in the coolest way possible


Juvic Pagunsan is headed to Royal St George’s after winning the Mizuno Open in Japan. And that’s not even half the story

Juvic Pagunsan will play in his third Open Championship after winning Mizuno Open on the Japan Tour.

A score of 17-under-par was enough for a three-shot win at Setonaikai Golf Club, where the tournament was shortened to 54 holes after bad weather put a halt to proceedings.

It’s just a second top-level tour win for the 43-year-old, who hails from the Phillipines, and a hefty wait since his breakthrough, which came at the Indonesia Invitational way back in 2007.

But none of this is the reason Pagunsan is making headlines. No. That’s because he played the tournament with just 11 clubs in his bag.

With Covid regulations meaning caddies aren’t allowed on the Japanese circuit at the moment, Pagunsan decided to carry and wanted to make it a bit less of a slog.

If you’re interested, he took out the 3, 4, 6 and 8 irons from his usual 14-club set-up and added a 19-degree hybrid.

“I’m getting older, so it’s better to be lighter,” he explained. “What do I do when I need a 6-iron? Well, I just adjust it by using a different club.”

Sounds simple enough. And perhaps something we can all learn from.

So why not use an electric trolley? “With those, you have to go around the green and that is troublesome,” he added. “This style suits me better.”

And that’s not even the end. Ryan French – who runs the excellent Monday Q Info Twitter account – said Pagunsan only took four balls with him. For the entire tournament.

We’re out here taking four balls for every hole we play and Pagunsan is deciding that’s enough for a week of competitive action.

Pagunsan, who has been playing on the Japan Tour for more than a decade, said: “I finally won. I’m very happy to be in the Open Championship. This is my third appearance. I’m very excited and looking forward to it.”

His previous appearances were at Lytham in 2012, where he finished tied-72nd, and Hoylake two years later, where he missed the cut.

Will he have a caddie at St George’s? We’ll find out in around six weeks…

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