BAGUIO CITY – Luisita Golf & Country Club leaned on its most veteran player to pad a one-shot lead with a round remaining in the Fil Championship flight of the 68th Department of Tourism Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament on Wednesday.
Eddie Bagtas showed his true worth and matched fellow former pro Raul Minoza, submitting a two-under card worth 38 points to lead Luisita’s 131 total for the day and 336 aggregate in the premiere flight of the event presented by San Miguel.
Luisita is on the cusp of ruling the tournament it last played in in 1994. It is also poised for a double victory with its Am squad retaining a five-point lead over Camp John Hay.
Rodel Mangalubnan went home with a two-over for 34 for Luisita, but it was all the team needed to stay ahead in the five-to-play, four-to-count tournament.
Chito Laureta submitted a 30,while Jingy Tuazon had 29 to count for the team which saw Ondoy Mondilla out of the tally sheet.
Southwoods got 28 from Bong Sison but Sang Jin Lee and Judd Roy were only good for a pair of 27s for the team’s 121 output and 332 total. Kui Sun Moon again did not count despite improving to 24.
Rolly Viray had an even par for 36 points as Megafiber drew 123 points for 330.
“It’s still anybody’s game,” said Bagtas, who found relief as he did not walk most of the way. “The golf cart really helped a lot, masakit talaga lalo na pag naglakad.”
To secure the crown, Bagtas said that they need points from Mondilla, who he said is the team’s secret weapon.
“We hope we can finish the tournament as winner. We need to play just the same,” said Luisita captain Jeric Hechanova.
“This is a special way to win, win after 23 years since we last played here,” added Hechanova, who added that it will be doubly special with the coming 50th-year anniversary of Luisita next year.
Hechanova said Luisita's Am squad faces a tougher time after its lead was cut by four.
Luisita – Am shot 108 on Alan Alegre’s 30, 27 of Benjie Sumulong, 26 of Hechanova and 22 of Garcia for a three day total of 341.