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Birdies run fails to save Juvic

TOKYO — Juvic Pagunsan closed out with a one-under-par 70 on Sunday and finished 55th in a field of 60 in the men’s golf competition of the Tokyo Olympics at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.

The 43-year old Filipino pro never got going after an opening 66 as he finished with a four-day total of one-over 285 – a good 19 shots behind American gold-medal winner Xander Shauffele.

Shauffele salvaged par from a difficult position in the rough after a bad drive to clinch the gold medal on a closing 67 for 266, one shot ahead of South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini who closed with a fiery 61.

Pagunsan, only the second Filipino male golfer to see action in the Olympics after Miguel Tabuena, was tied for fifth after Day One but faded down the leaderboard following rounds of 73 and 76.

The Bacolod-born pro showed some signs of life when three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the third role got him back to even par.

But Pagunsan never bought another birdie from there before closing his Olympic debut with a bogey at the 500-yard par-4 closing hole.

On Wednesday, it will be the turn of US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso and LPGA campaigner Bianca Pagdanganan to go for gold, also in the same layout.

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