MANILA Southwoods cruised to victories in the Championship flights of the 68th Department of Tourism Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament at the Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay courses on Saturday, its third straight double.
Joo Hyuk Kim recorded the only sub-par game at the short and tricky BCC course with a two under par round worth 38 points to lead Southwoods' closing round of 137 and 561 total for a 29 point victory in the Fil Championship.
At the CJH course, Kristoffer Arevalo shot even par worth 36 points to power the Carmona, Cavite parbusters to 134 and 501 total for a 50 point margin in Am Championships.
“We’re so much relieved, our boys finally delivered the win,” said non-playing co-captain Jearome Delariarte, who came in with Joo's small gallery in the last flight of the Fil team at the 18th hole of the BCC.
“We know that they could play well because these are the best amateur players, the cream of the crop,” said Delariarte, who was part of the grand slam winning Southwoods team in 1998, whose only remaining player member is Junjun Plana, who shot a 33 along with Carl Corpus and Aidric Chan, both 16 years old.
The 15-year-old Joo finished even par worth 144 in the par 61 and 69 BCC and CJH courses, respectively, and drew even with Jude Eustaquio, who closed out with a three over or 33 points.
Eustaquio got a 30 from Luis Antonio Asistio, 28 from Inigo Raymundo and 26 from Dan Cruz for a 117 and three round total of 532.
Nik Gatmaytan led Royal Northwoods with a 31 as the team submitted a 116 for a 501 total, 12 ahead of Mizuno X-1R which scored a final-round 121.
Joo bagged with the individual Championship crown through countback.
Southwoods won in 2015 behind now pro Justin Quiban. Last year, Yuto Katsuragawa had an eight under to lead the team to the crown.
“We are fortunate that that the boys played for us, they have a great future,” added Delariarte, who helped Southwoods win four of a six-peat including the 2002 championship against Calatagan.
Southwoods has won 15 of the last 21 years it has played in the Fil-Am, the most for any ball club. It joined in 1997, four years after its debut in 1993, according to Plana, who played from 1997 onwards, although not all the time with the top Fil Championship flight.
“They are so young and yet they are so good. These crop is definitely the future of Philippine golf,” said Delariarte.
La Trinidad, Benguet born and raised Luigi Paolo Wong, who did not count in the last day with a 22 is also 16 years old and the average age of the team sans Plana is 15.75 years.
“They are just so good these kids,” Plana said. “They learned valuable lessons here and they now know how to respect the course, especially BCC.”
Jama Reyes added 34, Chepe Dulay and Lanz Uy counted with 33 and 31, respectively for Southwoods.
The team won by 50 points over Razons of Guagua which closed out with a 124 and 451 points. Damas Wong had a flight best one under for 37 points for the Kapampangans while Adrian Mauricio, Chino Raymundo and Carlo Quimson added 30, 29 and 28, in that order.
Forest Hills sneaked past Team Time Cargo Logistics when it scored 122 points for 439, one point ahead of the latter, which closed out with 119 points.
Batangas Barakos had a closing round of 98 and 465 for a 19-point victory in Fil A over San Miguel Corporation. Team Surigao I was another three points down after a final-round 103.
Alaska Royalink Golf Team sneaked past two round leader Royal Northwoods to win Am A. Alaska closed out with a 119 and 429 for a three shot win over Northwoods which had a fourth round total of 110.
At third was Tiyo Paeng which shot a final round 101 for a 414 total.