CLARK Field, Pampanga – Ira Alido became the unlikely anchor for Manila Southwoods on Thursday, shooting a three-under-par 69 for 39 points that boosted the defending champions to a tie for the lead with Canlubang halfway through the 69th PAL Interclub Men’s Championship.
The 16-year-old drained five birdies against two bogeys at the composite Lake View and Acacia nines of the Mimosa Complex and led the Carmona-based squad to 138 for the day and 275 through 36 holes, putting the team back on track for a championship repeat.
“I was surprised with how I played. I couldn’t play this way in the practice round,” the high school student from De La Salle-Zobel told reporters after Southwoods got 35s from Jets Sajulga abd Brixton Aw and 29 from Ryan Monsalve before throwing away veteran Vince Lauron’s 27 points.
Many-time national titlist Rupert Zaragosa and Carlo Villaroman fired 36s to pace the Sugar Barons, who tallied 137 for the day after Luis Castro contributed 35 and Gab Manotoc 30. Canlubang discarded the 29 of Jakey Yulo.
It was a surprising performance by Southwoods, which obviously fielded a stronger team in the opening round on Wednesday yet found itself trailing the Sugar Barons by one.
Luisita drew 38 points from Korean Brian Kim and 36 from Luis Miguel Guerrero but still lost ground on the two heavyweights after a 135 left it trailing by 20 from 18 overnght.
Basti Lorenzo fired 31 and senior standout Jingy Tuason contributed 30 for the Luisitans, who are just four up on Del Monte, which fired 126.
Orchard, the 2014 champion, reeled back with a woeful 124 to trail the joint leaders by 26 as Kristopher Arevalo was the closest player to matching par with 33. Niko Santiano and King Stehmeier fired 31s with JP De Claro rounding out scoring for Orchard with 29.
“I was surprised. I thought Southwoods had the stronger lineup yesterday,” said Canlubang non-playing captain Luigi Yulo. “The results today will keep up the excitement in the Interclub.”
A tight race has also developed in the Founders Division, with Cebu CC wresting a two-point lead over Forest Hills and three over Villamor after a second round 118 built around the 36 of Julius Neri and 32 of the veteran Ramontito Garcia.
With Marko Sarmiento shooting 27 and Marc Gonzales accounting for 23, Cebu CC, which until last year was in the Championship Division, has 228 aggregate going into third round action also at the Mountain View layout.
Jude Eustaquio paced Forest Hills for the second straight day with 34 points, and got support from the 29 of Ronald Littaua, Raffy Garcia’s 25 and 24 from Peter Young for their 112.
Villamor, which raced to the opening round lead after a 119 on Wednesday, could only draw 29 points from Jay Jay Dinglasan and 27s from Jun Arceo and George Rivera, with Bobby Marajucon rounding out its 106 for 225.
Del Monte collected 126 points from Noel Langamin 34, Raul Miñoza 34, Jovencio Lusterio 29 and Yoyong Velez 29 for a two-day total of 250, five points behind Luisita.
Orchard, on the other hand, had another frustrating day with 124 points for 249 while Mimosa totaled 232 following 114 in the second round.
The Interclub is sponsored by People Asia, Travelife, Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), Manila Broadcasting Corporation, Airbus, Business Mirror and Philippine National Bank.
Other supporters are Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer.net, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, Tanduay Distillers, Asia Brewery, Splash Corporation, RFM Corporation, Goldilocks, Eastgate Publishing Corporation, Robinsons Land, TMC, Mastercard, Hytera and Rolls-Royce.