DAVAO CITY – Fifteen-time champion Luisita Golf Club got a big lift from two new recruits to take a slim two-point lead over Del Monte Golf Club at the start of the 31stPhilippine Airlines Senior Interclub golf team championships.
Rodel Mangulabnan made an auspicious seniors debut for Luisita with 50 points, one of only three players to score in the fifties at the Apo Golf and Country Club.
Mangulabnan, who just turned 55, made two birdies against six bogeys.
Chito Laureta, another fresh addition, added 48 and Jingy Tuason chipped in 47 as Luisita pooled 145 points. Allan Alegre did not count with 45 points.
“We kind of expected to lead, but we didn’t expect the high scores,” said Luisita non-playing captain Jeric Hechanova, noting that players were allowed to lift and clean their balls.
Del Monte, made up of former pros and caddies, emerged as a serious contender, scoring 143 points behind the 50 points of Archie Mondilla, father of pro Clyde Mondilla.
The Bukidnon-based squad also drew 48 points from last year’s individual champion Virgilio Adag and 45 from Ernesto Apas. Romeo Bautista failed to count with 39.
A huge disappointment was defending champion Canlubang which skidded to fourth place with 124, 21 points behind Luisita.
Eagle Ridge, getting 51 points from Korean Tong Wha Lee, took third spot with 131. Other scorers were Koreans Jie Sik Oh (41) and Seong Song (39).
Despite the heavy deficit, Canlubang skipper Tony Olives is not about to throw in the towel.
“There is plenty of golf to be played, but we need to start reducing the lead tomorrow at Rancho Palos Verdes,” said Olives.
In what could go down to be its worst opening round, Canlubang got 43 from Damas Wong, 41 from Dave Hernandez and 40 from Mari Hechanova.
“It was a humbling experience,” said many-time Spanish champion Mike Preysler who did not count for Canlubang with 35 points.
The 70th PAL Interclub Platinum sponsors are Mareco Broadcasting Network, A&E Networks Asia, RMN Networks, The Manila Standard, Fox Networks Group, Rolls-Royce, TV5, MasterCard, TFC and Business Mirror.
Major sponsors include Asian Air Safari, Airbus, Primax Broadcasting Network and Sabre Airline Solutions while Corporate sponsors are Baron Travel Corporation, Boeing, MX3, GE Aviation, Bombo Radyo Philippines, Asia Brewery, Tanduay Distillers, Sabre Airline Solutions and Tourism Promotions Board.
The donors are Shangri-La at The Fort, Trinity Insurance and Eton Properties.
Complete first round results:
Luisita 145, Del Monte 143, Eagle Ridge 131, Canlubang 124
Racho Palos 134, Rivera Golf 130, Alta Vista Golf 126, Manila Southwoods 125, Zamboanga Golf 120, Fil Am Hawaii 117, Camp Evangelista 115, Guinhalaran 114, South Bay Golf 112, Forest Hills 109, Lanang Golf 108, Team Coral Ocean Point 106, Bacolod Golf 102, Vancouver Golf ABC 100, SF Heritage 100, Club Filipino Cebu 100, Canphil Golf 99, Bay City GC Alameda 96, Taotaomona Guam 90, PGA Qatar 88, IAGE San Diego 85, EZ Par Golf 62, Greenhills West 36
Fil Oz Sydney 108, Sarangani Golf 105, South Cotabato 104 San Juanico Park Golf 103, Paoay Seniors 101, Baguio Country Club 101, Melbourne Pinoy Golf 99, Team Brookside 98, Fort Bonifacio Golf 97, Iligan Golf 96, Phil Am Central Florida 95, UP Tee Jots 93, San Francisco Maharlika Golf 91, Dirab Golf 90, Austral Asian Social Golf 89, Mt Malindang 89, Guam Seals 88,Mabuhay Golf of SFO 88, Fli Am Fairfield 85, Van City Golf 85, Pinoy Vancouver Golf 76, San Francisco Crystal Springs 72, PGA British Columbia 66, Sky West Golf 65