JUVIC Pagunsan and Rufino Bayron of the South team clobbered North rivals Miguel Tabuena and Edward Reyes, 4&3, but North’s Michael Bibat and Gerald Rosales nipped South’s Marvin Dumandan and Zanie Boy Gialon, 1-up, as the two teams drew the opening four-ball matches in The Duel on Wednesday at the Alabang Golf Club.
Skipper Angelo Que and Mars Pucay of the North squad and Tony Lascuña and Clyde Mondilla of South wound up all-square, same result as the match pitting the North’s Carl Santos-Ocampo and James Ryan Lam against South’s Jay Bayron and Ferdie Aunzo, giving each team 2 points after the morning best-ball duel.
“The teams are evenly matched. With the 2-2 score in the morning matches, that’s good enough for us,” said Que, bidding to steer the team to victory and avenge the North’s setback in last year’s inaugurals of the event which pits the leading players from Luzon against those from Visayas and Mindanao.
Que and Pucay were up by one after No. 17 but Lascuna and Mondilla birdied the last hole and Que missed a 20-footer.
South team captain Jerome Delariarte also liked what he saw in the opener of the three-day event sponsored by ICTSI.
“We’re even, so it’s okay but momentum is the key,” said Delariarte.
The Southerners actually took command in all morning matches after 12 holes but Dumandan and Gialon faltered, enabling Bibat and Rosales to snatch the win.
“We had bad breaks on the last three holes for our last two pairs,” said Delariare. “Bibat and Rosales were in trouble on the 18th but we were not able to pounce on it.”
The first team to win 14 1/2 points will win the Duel, according to Colo Ventosa, general manager of the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.