MANILA Southwoods is confident titles are in the bag with huge leads halfway through the competitions in the top two divisions of the 67th Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament in Baguio City.
“The way our boys are playing, it surely looks like both our teams will romp away with top honors come awards night on Saturday,” said Southwoods skipper Thirdy Escano.
Southwoods is 19 points ahead in the Fil Championship and a whopping 65 points clear in the Am Championship.
Thursday was rest day for the top flights in the tournament presented by San Miguel.
Southwoods’ Fil Championship team has two rounds of 268, well ahead of Royal Northwoods.
Defending champion San Miguel-Northern Cement was 29 points off pace while Srixon Forest Hills, another pre-tournament favorite is 39 points behind the leader.
The Carmona club has the most Fil Championship titles at eight.
Southwoods’ Am team scored 150 in the opener followed by a 144.
Yuto Katsuragawa, a 17-year-old player, and Liam Cully, 16, have been leading the way for Southwoods in the Fil Championship while also delivering solid numbers are Jun jun Plana, 14-year-old Joo Hyung Kim and Jose Emmanuel Sajulga.
Katsuragawa set a Fil-Am record of three under 58 for 39 points Wednesday that included a rare eagle at No. 11 while the Am team posted 150, the best score in the last 22 years.
“Considering the average age of our players, Manila Southwoods will surely be the team to beat in the coming Fil-Am tournament,” added Escano.
“Young golfers are getting stronger, and more creative skills wise every year. We are just fortunate to have our current roster,” he said.
“I am sure the other teams will reevaluate their respective programs to remain competitive. That will surely be good for the Fil Am tournament as each annual staging of this prestigious amateur event will never be predictable nor boring.”
Meanwhile, Douglas Puckett shot a two over 71 at John Hay as Green Water Golfers improved to 303 after a 116 for a 14 point lead over Baguio Country Club which scored 118 for 289 in Fil B.
Ventureslink Robros Jayworkx slipped to third after a 112 and 286 total.