DAVAO – Manila Southwoods put the finishing touches to the club’s first-ever three-peat in the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub Men’s Championship on Saturday, ruling the tournament’s 70th edition by 44 points despite posting its worst score of the week.
Veteran Jun Jun Plana fired a three-over-par 75 worth 33 points at Apo Golf Club to anchor a closing 120 for the Carmona-based parbusters, who tallied an eye-popping 547 to win this one pulling away from archrival Canlubang.
Southwoods spiced up its franchise’s first hat trick with two bits of history in what is regarded as the country’s unofficial team golf championship.
Aside from setting the biggest margin of victory, the champions in 2015 in Cebu and last year in Pampanga also became the first team to have all five players cracking par in a single round, pulling out the feat on Friday with a 155-point effort.
“I have so much respect for Canlubang,” Southwoods non-playing skipper Thirdy Escano said, refusing to be drawn away by how much they dominated this year’s field. “It was just that we had such a great third round (at Rancho Palos Verdes).”
Tom Kim fired 30 points, former Junior World champion Kristoffer Arevalo added 29 and Southwoods counted the 28 of Jets Sajulga before throwing away the 27 or Ira Alido in the final round.
Starting the day 38 points behind, the Sugar Barons were obviously out of the running. But Cangolf still failed to put a dent on Southwoods as Ruper Zaragosa and Gido Mandanas fired 32s in a 114-point day.
“I’m sure Canlubang will bounce back next year from this one,” Escano said. “That’s why we will stay with our program and continue to train players worthy of seeing action here.”
Carlo Villaroman and Marco Olives shot 25s, and Cangolf discarded the 24 of Bambam Santos.
Del Monte, meanwhile, amassed a day-best 123 points and went on to steal third spot from Luisita, as Jelbert Gamolo matched par and Mel Cubillo contributed 32.
Former pro Raul Minoza fired 28 points and Rolando Bregente chipped in with 27 for the final Del Monte card and a 472 total, just six points behind the Sugar Barons.
Don Petil’s 29 led Luisita, which closed out with a measly 106 and lost a grip of third spot, its realistic target for the tournament. Josh Jorge and Luis Bagtas fired 26 apiece while Senior standout Eddie Bagtas, after firing 36 points on Friday, slowed down considerably with 25.
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.
Donors are Shangri-La at The Fort, Trinity Insurance and Eton Properties.
Manila Southwoods 547 (136-136-155-120), Canlubang 503 (125-133-131-114), Del Monte 472 (111-127-111-123), Luisita 467 (115-117-129-106)