Bacolod —Antonio Asistio II made sure he’ll leave a lasting mark in his amateur-career before he turns pro next month as he towed The Country Club into the second round lead in the 63rd Philippine Airlines (PAL) men’s golf tournament, Thursday, at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club in Murcia .
Asistio, a member of the national pool for the last two years, showed the way with a sizzling-hot 38 points in the modified Stableford points, a two-under-par in stroke play. More important, he carried TCC to the overall leadership against rival and defending champion Canlubang.
Along with the 35, including a tap-in birdie on the ninth, from Fil-Am Carl Ocampo of Notre Dame in Indiana , the 31 of former Hong Kong Amateur champ Dante Becierra and 30 of Zanie Boy Gialon, TCC moved ahead with another 134 for 268, two over Canlubang.
“I had so many lucky shots today,” said Asistio, who actually had a solid round as he went five-under in the last eight holes.
It was not a good round for Asistio at the onset when he bogeyed Nos. 11, 14 and 15 that sandwiched a lone bogey on the 13th hole to begin the day. At the front nine, he bucked a bogey start with a sparkling eagle on 304-yard No. 2 after he placed his tee shot 15 feet from the cup.
None was happier than TCC coach Bong Lopez, whose wards are trying to become champions in their sophomore year in the PAL Interclub.
“I am very happy with the turnout at the Bacolod Golf’s Binitin course. Our goal Thursday was too cut down or match Canlubang’s two-day total. It was definitely a bonus for us to open a two-point advantage,” said Lopez.
For the third round, Lopez and team captain Freddie Mendoza are keeping quiet on who to field in also at Binitin. The final round of the championship division will return to the Marapara layout of the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club Saturday.
Lopez and Mendoza and hoping that their boys will hang on until the last round and erase the stigma of last year’s campaign debut in Davao, where they led in the first round only to lose out in the end.
Jhonel Ababa, who won the DHL-WWWExpress Amateur Open in Canlubang last month, submitted a 35, Joey Huerva contributed a 33, Art Arbole had a 31 and Jessie Balasabas added a 30 for Calubang’s 129 for 266 in 36 holes.
Rupert Zaragosa, the 12-year-old wonder kid of pro Boyet, succumbed to pressure on his first PAL Interclub and finished with an 11-over-par, good for 25 markers which was cut out from the five-to-play, four-to-count format.
“It is still anybody’s game. Carl (Ocampo) was the surprise package for TCC. I thought coach Bong (Lopez) will play him in the third and fourth rounds. As it turned out, the Fil-Am delivered,” said Canlubang coach Tommy Manotoc.
Over at the Marapara layout of the Negros Occidental Golf Club, Manila Southwoods, meanwhile, zoomed to the top in the Founders division by pooling in 134 points for 242. Del Monte, which was dropped from the championship division, was second with (120-237) followed by local team Negros Golf (127-236).
The 63rd PAL Interclub is presented by platinum sponsors Airbus, Boeing, 105.1 Crossover and Radio Mindanao Network. Major sponsors are Action Asia, GE Aviation, MTV Philippines, People Asia and Royal Caribbean.
The corporate backers are Business Mirror, Philippine Graphic, http://www.philstar.com, Sabre Airline Solutions/Sabre Travel Network and Resort World Manila. Century Park Hotel, DWWW 774 AM, Panay News, Master Card and Thales Aerospace are minor patrons.
PAL Interclub Men’s Scores
Championship—TCC 268 (134-134), Canlubang 266 (137-129), Alabang 217 (107-110), Sherwood Hills 173 (75-98), Mt. Malarayat 161 (85-76), Green Tee 154 (77-77), Victorias 148 (65-83), Moffet Fields 141 (73-68), South Cotabato 121 (61-60), Mabuhay Golf 116 (52-64), EZ Par 116 (93-58), Brookside 95 (46-49), San Diego 76 (52-24), Pinoy Vancouver 43
Founders—Manila Southwoods 242 (108-134), Del Mote 237 (117-120), Negros GCC 236 (109-127), Cebu CC 233 (117-116), Sta. Elena 228 (119-109), Mactan Island 216 (103-113), Riviera 206 (101-105), Forest Hills 204 (93-111), Wack Wack 203 (114-89), Orchard 197 (97-100), Villamor 196 (92-104), Alta Vista 182 (87-95)