DEFENDING champion Cebu Country Club pooled 130 second round points at its home course on Thursday to pad its lead over Del Monte to three points halfway through the 66th edition of the men’s Interclub golf championships.
Marko Sarmiento fired a 2-over-par 74 worth 34 points, while Jovi Neri and former club champion Eric Deen each scored 33 as the Cebuanos came up with a two-day total of 250.
Andre Borromeo’s 30 was the final score for Cebu CC as eight-time club champion and team skipper Ramontito Garcia struggled off the tees and did not count with a 29.
Lawrence Cubillo and Reymon Jaraulla scored 33 apiece and Magnao Arancon returned a 32 to make up Del Monte’s 128 and 247 overall.
Jets Sajulga’s 30 counted as the fourth score for the Bukidnon-based bets, the 2011 champions.
“A lead is still a lead,” Garcia told scribes after the round, expressing satisfaction that they are still in the driver’s seat – though barely – heading into the final two rounds of the country’s unofficial team golf championship.
“We’re still very happy,” he continued. “Tomorrow, if we increase our lead, the better. Our strongest lineup will still be on the final day, hopefully our experience (over Cebu Country Club) counts.”
Keanu Jahns scored the tournament’s first sub-par card in the division’s final flight, a 69 worth 39 points to usher Alabang to a second day 125 that kept it in third spot, now five points behind the pace.
Gabriel Manotoc scored 31 points, Jama Reyes added a 30 and Miguel Shah a 28 to complete the scoring for Alabang.
Jahns had five birdies against two bogeys in the lowest round of the tournament thus far, missing the chance to go lower by muffing a putter-length putt for par on the ninth hole – his last – to settle for a 69.
“It could have been better had it not been for my putting and short game woes,” said Jahns, who expects to return to action on the final day because Mactan Island Golf Club, the site of third round action, “doesn’t fit my eye very well.”
Sta. Elena remained in fourth spot – but now 51 points behind – after scoring just 102 points built around Jingy Tuason’s 32.
Play returns to tight and hard Mactan on Friday and Cebu CC was deep in a team meeting after the round, devising a lineup that would enable them to field the best possible finishers for the final round on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Negros seized the Founders division lead, also at Cebu CC, after also scoring 130 points for 233.
Chris Infante and Jae Woo-yang paced Negros with 33 points apiece with veteran Francis Gaston and Chepe Dulay adding 32s as it slipped past first round leader Orchard, which tallied 118 for 232 in the tournament sponsored by the Department of Tourism, 105.1 Crossover, Solar Sports, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, 92.3 FM Radyo 5, Araneta Coliseum and AXN and also backed by major sponsors Airbus, Manila Broadcasting Corporation, Philippine Broadcasting Network, People Asia, Radio Mindanao Network, Business Mirror and ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel, and corporate sponsors Radisson Blu Hotel, Shangri-La Resort & Spa, Boeing, Inquirer Golf Magazine, Philippines Graphic and Manila Bulletin.