THE 33rd Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub golf team championships get under way on Wednesday, with defending champion Canlubang and 16-time titlist Luisita kicking off their showdown at the Alta Vista Golf Club, a mountain course designed by Gary Player, in Cebu.
Both teams made only one change in their respective lineups with Tommy Manotoc returning for Canlubang and former pro Demy Saclot debuting for Luisita.
Except for Dave Hernandez, Canlubang will be represented by the same team that beat Luisita by eight points last year in Bacolod City.
They are brothers Abe and Pem Rosal, Rolly Viray, Mari Hechanova, Abe Avena, Zaldy Villa and Damasus Wong.
Luisita, which last won the crown in 2017, is also fielding the same players that played last year, namely Eddie Bagtas, Benjie Sumulong, Rodel Mangulabnan, Raffy Garcia, Chino Raymundo, Edmund Yee and Chito Laureta.
With the addition of Manotoc, a fixture in many champion teams, Canlubang remains a formidable squad, but Luisita captain Jeric Hechanova is unfazed.
“In the end, it’s up to our team to perform and not worry about the other team,” Hechanova said.
Hechanova said all his players are playing well in the run-up to the Interclub, particularly Mangulabnan, the reigning national seniors champion.
Cebu Country Club and Del Monte complete the cast in the championship division.
A record field of 108 teams is seeing action in the four-day event that will also be played at the Club Filipino de Cebu.
The field is divided into five divisions: Championship, Founders, Aviator, Sportswriters and Friendship.
The Molave scoring system will be used in the four-to-play, three-to-count event. Par is worth 3 points and regulation play is equivalent to 54 pointsin the tournament 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.