CLARK, Angeles – Defending champion Canlubang bounced back and grabbed a two-point lead over Luisita on Saturday in the 30th PAL Senior Interclub golf team championships at the Mimosa Golf & Country Club.
The Sugar Barons sizzled with 150 to erase a 12-point deficit and surge on top by two over two-day leader Luisita with 426 points going into the final round of the annual competition.
Mari Hechanova starred for Canlubang with 51 points and got solid support from Abe Avena (50) and Dave Hernandez (49).
“We were only expecting to reduce the margin. We did not expect to lead. But then again, two points is nothing,” said Canlubang owner Luigi Yulo.
Luisita struggled at the Acacia and Lakeview course, returning with 136 points after averaging 144 points in the first two rounds.
Benjie Sumulong, playing for the second straight day, carded 48 points while Bong Sison added 46. Chito Laureta or Richie Garcia counted with 42 points apiece.
Luisita non-playing captain Jeric Hechanova remained defiant despite squandering a double-digit lead.
“We’re confident we will still win, but it will go down to the final hole of the final flight,” said Hechanova, who decided to sit Jingy Tuason, the team’s best scorer in the first round.
Tuason will team up with last year’s individual champion Eddie Bagtas and veterans Herminio Maravilla and Pepot Inigo in the final day.
They will face Canlubang’s Tommy Manotoc, Rolly Viray, Rene Unson and rookie Zaldy Villa.
Mimosa, which played alongside Luisita, Canlubang and Cebu Country Club (CCC), retained the lead in the Founders division, just four points behind Canlubang.
The host club still has a chance of becoming the first team to win the Interclub while competing outside the championship division.
Mimosa drew 46 from Romeo Celestino, 44 from Noel Yamzon and 43 from Danny Abad to improve to 422, eight points ahead of CCC.
The Orchard was in third place with 406 points.
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club seized the lead in the Aviator division after scoring 131 points at the Acacia and Lakeview.
Kokoy Locsin turned in 47 points to lead NOGCC which now has 396, three points ahead of Eagle Ridge which struggled with 115 points.
Manila Southwoods took third spot with 378 after submitting 378 points.
In the Sportswriters division, the top three leaders were Forest Hills (351), Club 1872 Los Angeles (343) and Del Monte (341).
The Interclub is sponsored by People Asia, Travelife, Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), ManilaBroadcasting Corporation, Airbus, Business Mirror and Philippine National Bank.
Other supporters are Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer.net, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, Tanduay Distillers, Asia Brewery, Splash Corporation, RFM Corporation, Goldilocks, Eastgate Publishing Corporation, Robinsons Land and Rolls-Royce.