CEBU — Drawing 36 points from burly Bayani Garcia’s even-par 72 effort, Cebu Country Club continued to lead the overall race of the 72nd Philippine Airlines Interclub even as Manila Southwoods regaining the Championship Division pace at Mactan Island Golf Course on Friday.
The Founders Division campaigners pooled a third-round 131 over their tight and tricky home course to post a 376 tally over three days and a two-shot lead over Southwoods heading to the final day, also at the Cebu Country Club course.
“We prepared so hard to win the Founders,” playing captain Marco Sarmiento, who will be part of Cebu's final-round team. “We never expected for any of this (leading the overall race) to be happening. But now that we’re here, we’ll definitely go for it (overall championship).”
Should Cebu CC sustain its hot streak, it will become just the second Founders Division team after Aguinaldo in 1988 to win the country's unofficial golf team championship.
Marc Gonzales fired 35 and Jon Alvarez posted 33 to back up Garcia with Cebu CC counting either 27s of Eric Deen and Martin Mendoza under the five-to-play, four-to-count format.
Southwoods matched Cebu CC’s 131 after getting 36 points from Sean Ramos, 33 from Masaichi Otake and 32 and 30 points, respectively, from Aidric Chan and Jae Hyung Jhun. The Carmona-based squad, seeking to duplicate Canlubang’s five-peat in the 1990s, threw away the 28 of the veteran Jun Jun Plana.
“I am still confident with my final-round team,” said non-playing skipper Thirdy Escano, who will be fielding Yuto Katsuragawa, the teen Japanese national team member, along with Carl Corpuz, Josh Jorge, Chepe Dulay and former junior world champ Kristopher Arevalo.
Luisita grabbed second spot in the Championship Division, eight points behind Southwoods, after shooting a day-best 132 built around the 35 of Luis Guerrero and the 34 of Josef Bucay. Jhondee Quibol and Elee Bisera scored 32 and 31 for the Luisitans.
Del Monte was another four points behind after a 117, even as surprise first round second placer Tagaytay Highlands continued to slow down with a week-worst 104 to be at 337 and 35 points off the Championship Division pace.
Orchard stayed in second in the Founders after a 122, 23 points behind Cebu CC. Orchard is 13 points ahead of the third-placed Forest Hills squad and could wind up winning the bracket if Cebu goes on to rule the overall division.
This year’s Interclub is sponsored by Radio Mindanao Network, Asian Air Safari, and Vanguard Radio Network. Also extending support are ABS-CBN Global Ltd. (The Filipino Channel), Rolls Royce, Primax Broadcasting Network, UM Broadcasting Network (Mindanao), Fox Sports, Cignal TV, GECAS, Boeing, Lufthansa Technik AG, Manila Standard, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Dusit Thani Manila, and Casino Filipino. Official hotel is Quest Hotel Conference Center Cebu.
Day 3 partial scores:
CHAMPIONSHIP – Manila Southwoods 372 (125-116-131), Luisita 364
(118-114-132), Del Monte 360 (122-121-117), Tagaytay Highlands 337
AVIATOR – Club Filipino Inc de Cebu 299 (112-92-95), Eagle Ridge 297
(98-105-94), Villamor 293 (106-83-104), Alta Vista 292 (103-97-92),
Rancho Palos Verdes Team 1 286 (101-92-92), Sta Elena 280 (97-94-89),
Zamboanga 279 (94-82-103), Pueblo de Oro 278 (87-88-103), Alabang 276
(86-96-94), Summit Point 266 (95-96-75), Manila 265 (93-81-91), Rancho
Palos Verdes Team 2 260 (80-96-84), Iloilo 250 (100-79-71), Team IMG
Tagaytay Midlands 250 (82-81-87), Brittannika 247 (84-74-89), Pearl Kai
Hawaii 245 (85-86-74), Stanford 239 (78-65-96), Lumbia 224 (88-65-71),
Engr and Architects 166 (64-49-53), Western Social 129 (61-68-0)
FRIENDSHIP – Davao City Golf 223 (66-80-77), South Cotabato 214
(71-78-65), Iligan 206 (73-69-64), Silicon Valley 194 (73-55-66), Baguio
192 (75-59-58), MT Malindang 191 (72-52-67), SF Maharlika 189
(55-36-98), Mactan Island 186 (58-56-72), Pinoy Vancouver 181
(63-60-58), Skywest 171 (63-46-62), San Juanico 169 (58-60-51), MSU Golf
169 (60-57-52), Pittsburg Filam 168 (58-53-57), New Zealand Black Tees
156 (55-45-56), Van City 155 (61-51-43), Washington DC 146 (50-59-37),
Fil Golfers in the Middle East UAE 140 (48-44-48), Yokohama Eagles 139
(49-51-39), Mabuhay Golf SFO 136 (55-49-32), London Filipino Golfer
Society 129 (22-39-70), Fil Oz Sydney 99 (21-32-46)