Fernandez-Castaño and Pagunsan play-off postponed

13/11/2011 06:45:09
Juvic Pagunsan and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano  (Getty Images)
Juvic Pagunsan and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Getty Images)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Juvic Pagunsan will resume their play-off for the Barclays Singapore Open on Monday after more weather delays at Sentosa Golf club.

Spaniard Fernandez-Castaño saw a four shot lead evaporate on the back nine during the third and final round and Filipino Pagunsan birdied the last to force extra holes.

But after storms on Friday and Saturday had already reduced the event to three rounds, there were two further delays in the play-off, which will now resume at 7.30am local time on Monday.

Four time European Tour winner Fernandez-Castaño began the day three clear of Edoardo Molinari and James Morrison, and with an eagle at the par five fourth, a birdie at the sixth and a bogey in between turned four clear of the chasing pack.

But he had three bogeys in four holes from the 12th, and when Pagunsan holed a ten foot birdie putt the recent Castelló Masters runner-up needed a four at the par five last to win.

Instead he drove into water down the left and ultimately did well to get down in five and force extra holes – dramatically curling in a 20 footer.

Pagunsan split the fairway with his drive while his opponent found a bunker before the first delay of the day, but when they returned both laid up to 100 yards short of the green with their second shots, only for another loud clattering of thunder to force them to retreat once more.

Tournament Director Mike Stewart admitted it was frustrating for all concerned, but insisted that the only option was to abandon play for the day.

“We have done pretty well today to get through the third round and get it completed,” he said.

“Unfortunately we started the play-off and both players hit one shot, a storm came in on top of us and that led to suspension of play and sitting around waiting for the weather to improve.

“We had a small window of opportunity which we tried to take. We got the players out and they hit one more shot. We had to bring them in again. It was dangerous out there - there was lightning flying around. We had to get everyone inside as quickly as possible.

“We were sitting around for a couple of hours but in the end it became pretty untenable. The course was flooded, the light is not good enough now, and we still have lightning in the area. We have reached the conclusion that the only option is to bring them back tomorrow at 7.30.”

Fernandez-Castaño, who signed for a 72 and 14 under par total, admitted the pressure had got to him as he chases a first win since the 2008 British Masters.

“It was a tough day out there – one of the toughest I have ever had,” he said. “The heat was brutal and my game was not good. 

“I was feeling the pressure because it has been a long time without a victory and I want this one desperately. I felt the pressure at the end. My game was just not there, the putter wasn’t working and I made it tough for myself but at the very end to make that par on the last made my day. 

“Those three pars to finish – I know this doesn’t sound great talking about three pars – but considering the position I was in, the way I was playing and the way my mind was, it was a big challenge and I managed to hang on.”

Pagunsan won his only Asian Tour title in 2007, but is looking forward to battling for what would be the biggest win of his career.

“It’s going to be more exciting tomorrow,” he said. “My confidence is getting stronger and stronger. I can’t say what will happen tomorrow, we are almost the same distance [with the third shot]. 

“When I saw the leaderboard on the 17th hole, I was just one shot behind and I told my caddie to give myself a chance to tie the leader on 18. I just tried hard to win, I hit the third shot from 85 yards over the pin and spun it back. 

“It was a nice putt as I saw that Gonzalo’s drive was in the water. In my mind, I thought I was going to win, no play-off, but he made the putt also. I’m still here and will wait for a result tomorrow.”

Anthony Kim produced the round of the day as a 64 that contained eight birdies and a bogey saw the American climb into a share of third on 13 under par.

He was joined by Louis Oosthuizen, the South African compiling a fine 65 that included seven birdies and just one dropped shot.

Dutchman Joost Luiten, Danny Lee and Molinari all ended 12 under following rounds of 67, 68 and 71 respectively, while James Morrison finished a shot further back in eighth thanks to a one over 72.