Pagunsan plays with family on his mind

Juvic Pagunsan hopes to bring home another huge pay check at the Barclays Singapore Open especially with the impending birth of his second child on the way.

Golf News: Juvic Pagunsan

Despite having to settle for second place last year after losing in a Monday play-off to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain, Pagunsan picked up one of his biggest career prize money wins and also the coveted Order of Merit crown.

It has been a life-changing experience on many fronts for the Filipino and as he makes his first visit back to the Lion City since his near-win 12 months ago, Pagunsan hopes to cash in on a victory which is worth a cool million dollars.

"My wife and I are expecting our second child as she's already three months pregnant. We're really excited and I hope that I can do well this week so that I can save more money for my kids' future. It's not about me but also for my family now," said Pagunsan.

Pagunsan earned some measure of consolation as his runner-up finish propelled him to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit which he subsequently went on to win, making him the first Filipino to achieve the feat.

Pagunsan will have the company of 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Liang Wen-chong of China and Italy's Francesco Molinari for his opening two rounds at the Sentosa Golf Club.

Although he acknowledged that the course conditions at the Serapong course will be challenging this year, he is confident that he can do well again.

"I think the rough is going to be thicker and longer this year. It'll be tough but I would still say that there's a big chance for me to do well. I've learnt well from last year and I'm ready," said Pagunsan.

Meanwhile three-time Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand also believes he stands a good chance of winning yet another high profile event, just like how he did with his first European victory in Wales in June.

Having won 13 times on the region's elite circuit, Thongchai is returning to familiar ground in Asia where he has shown his knack for winning.

"Anything can happen this week. Nobody knows who is going to win but I do know that I feel very comfortable playing here and hopefully I can putt well and achieve my target of winning," said Thongchai.

"The most important thing is to enjoy the game this week. I enjoy coming to Singapore and I hope everything will turn out the way I want it to be," added the Thai ace who will play alongside Spain's Rafa CCabrera-bello and Ireland's Shane Lowry in the first two rounds.

Merit winners Pagunsan and Thongchai will be joined by many of the world's top golfers at the Barclays Singapore Open including world number one Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Adam Scott of Australia, a three-time winner, American Phil Mickelson and 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.

This year marks the 49th staging of the Singapore Open which will be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

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