PARBUSTERS from the South pulled off a successful invasion of the North with victory in the inaugural Duel – North vs. South golf showdown on Friday at Alabang Country Club.
Elmer Salvador won over Mars Pucay 5 and 4 and Marvin Dumandan won 1-up over Jun Bernis as the South took nine of the 12 singles matches to capture the title in come-from-behind fashion.
The North held a 9-7 lead after Thursday’s foursomes, but the South got the needed points in individual play with Elmer Saban beating Randy Garalde 2 and 1, Anthony Fernando defeating Gene Bondoc 3 and 1, and Mhark Fernando downing Benjie Magada 3 and 2.
Rufino Bayron, Tony Lascuna, Ferdie Aunzo and Jay Bayron also delivered for the Southerners in the tournament featuring the top 24 players from last year’s Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit.
Bayron won 2-up over Gerald Rosales, Lascuna dominated Artemio Murakami 5 and 4, Aunzo held off teen star Miguel Tabuena 2 and 1, and Bayron won 1-up over Carl Santos-Ocampo.
The three wins for the North were scored by Joenard Rates, who won 2 and 1 over Richard Sinfuego; Mike Bibat, who edged Jhonnel Ababa 2 and 1; and Angelo Que, who frustrated Cassius Casas 2 and 1.
“The win in the afternoon matches of the second round boosted our confidence heading to the singles,” said South skipper Charles Hong, referring to the 3-1 victory in Thursday’s rain-suspended foursomes that cut North’s lead to two.
Team North dominated the first day of action, 8-4, but South struck late in the second day with Casas and Mhark Fernando beating Magada and Garalde, 5 and 4, Lascuna and Saban thumping Rates and Bondoc, 6 and 5, and Aunzo and Jay Bayron beating Que and Tabuena, 3 and 2.
Bibat and Bernis delivered the lone win for North, 1-up, over Dumandan and Ababa.
“We would have been hard-pressed to win all singles matches had we trailed by a big margin. That’s why our target is to really keep it close after the second round,” said Hong.
Salvador hit eight birdies to easily dispose of Pucay, while Dumandan won the last two holes to complete a come-from-behind win over Bernis.
Jay Bayron also fought back from three holes down after No. 11 with a stirring four-birdie string from No. 12 to stun Santos-Ocampo while Lascuna, coming off a big win in the Eagle Ridge Invitational last week, smothered Murakami with a superb all-around game.
“I was hoping to get enough points (in the singles) to win it. But we’ll get the title next year,” said North team captain Cookie La’O.