WITH the regular Men’s championship division of the Philippine Airlines Interclub making a return in two weeks to Mimosa’s two courses, the current toast in amateur golf will all be seeing action, assuring a slam-bang affair.
Jobim Carlos, the two-time reigning national amateur champion, will be playing his farewell tournament before turning pro and will be seeking to lead Canlubang to a triumphant return in the centerpiece division.
National pool member Justin Quiban will banner defending champion Manila Southwoods; Jelbert Gamolo will be spearheading Del Monte and Cebu Country Club will have its rock-solid core trying to regain lost glory in the 72-hole event that tees off on March 2 at the Mountain View layout and the composite Lake View and Acacia nines.
Carlos will be backed up by many-time national champion Rupert Zaragosa and Gab Manotoc while Quiban has reigning Southwoods club champion Yuto Katsuragawa and Ryan Monsalve by his side with Gamolo expected to get support from products of Del Monte’s grassroots program.
Senior’s play is also not wanting in superstar appeal, with Tommy Manotoc of Canlubang renewing his rivalry with ex-pro and Luisita stalwart Eddie Bagtasin an anticipated two-way fight.
Carlos is making this as his last amateur event before campaigning professionally in the local ICTSI Tour and in the Asian Tour, and the 23-year-old advertising graduate of University of San Francisco is determined to make a difference for Canlubang.
“I definitely want to go out with a bang and help my team,” Carlos said as he takes a string of victories into the five-to-play, four-to-count event. “I hope to deliver whatever the team needs.”
Zaragosa has groped for form of late but is expected to come in a lot sharper for his mother club.
Luisita is also making its return in the Men’s division and will be parading a youthful lineup headed by Basti Lorenzo, while Cebu CC will again count on the likes of burly Bayani Garcia, Eric Deen and ex-pro Carl Almario.
Tommy Manotoc will be making yet another Interclub appearance at 67 years old and expects the Senior’s derby to go down the wire.
“They (Luisitans) have a great team,” Manotoc, who lost the individual title via countback to Bagtas in Cebu last year, said. “It’s going to be a great battle and we are all excited.”
Luisita’s Senior squad will also have Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia and a new man in the 55-year-old and above ranks, Jingy Tuason.
Abe Avena and Dave Hernandez are the other stalwarts of the Cangolf crew. Senior’s play starts on February 25.
The 69th PAL 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 and Rolls-Royce.