How a pro qualified for the Open Championship… with just 11 clubs

juvic pagunsan holds flag

Despite carrying just 11 clubs all week, Juvic Pagunsan (left) won the Mizuno Open and punched his ticket to this summer's Open Championship.

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Innovative bag setups are nothing new in golf, but last week on the Japan Golf Tour, Juvic Pagunsan’s look was especially unusual.

Due to Covid-19 precautions at the Mizuno Open, caddies were not allowed to carry players’ bags. So, Pagunsan took three clubs out to lighten the load as he carried for himself. The lighter setup didn’t seem to bother him too much, though. Pagunsan took the title at the Mizuno Open by three strokes, earning him his first victory on the Japan Golf Tour in his 10-year career.

“It has been 10 years,” Pagunsan said, according to the Japan Golf Tour. “It took me 10 years to win. Now I am relieved.”

Pagunsan took his 3-, 4-, 6- and 8-irons out of the bag and instead decided to carry four wedges to combat the windy conditions. He also added a 19-degree utility club to round out the set.

And the win comes with some pretty sweet perks. In addition to the ¥12,000,000 winner’s check, the 43-year-old also punches his ticket to July’s Open Championship as one of the top-two finishers at the Mizuno Open, which serves as a qualifier for the major.

Although players were allowed to ride carts for the event, Pagunsan said he preferred to walk himself as driving the carts around greens bother him. The week marked the third time this season he’s carried his own bag, but the first time he’s opted for just 11 clubs.

“I am getting older, and the last two times with 14 clubs were really heavy,” he said.

Hey, it worked.

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