Barons open up seven-point Senior lead over Luisita

 

DAY 1 ACTION. Dave Hernandez of the Canlubang golf team tees off at hole no. 9 of Pueblo de Oro golf course at the start of the PAL Interclub at Cagayan de Oro. Canlubang and Luisita are renewing their rivalry at the 25th edition of the Seniors Interclub.

Burly Tony Olives finished birdie-birdie to salvage a level 72 worth 54 points on Thursday and complete a dominating opening round by Canlubang at the start of Senior Championship play in the 64th Philippine Airlines Interclub at wet Pueblo de Oro in Cagayan de Oro City.

The 60-year-old Olives made sure that the Sugar Barons would finish strong by draining a curling, downhill club-length putt on No. 9 and cap his team’s 159 for a seven-point lead over defending champion Luisita.

Dave Hernandez returned a 73 for 53 and Philip Brodett pooled 52 as Cangolf, even with the 49 of Mari Hechanova that did not count, won out in each of the four featured flights that had the Luisitans tallying just 152.

“It’s a good start for us, obviously,” Olives, a six-year Senior, said after gunning down four total birdies against the same number of bogeys.

Pepot Inigo and Carlo Gamban both submitted 51s and Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia’s 50 was the third score that counted for the Luisitans, who regained the championship in Negros last year after a great final round anchored on Francis Gaston.

“Well within budget,” Inigo, the individual champion in Davao two years ago, said when asked of the seven-point deficit as the Luisitans still have Gaston and former Asia-Pacific champion Iggy Clavecilla coming out in two of the last three rounds.

Alabang drew 52 points from veteran Caloy Coscolluela for 134 to be in third with Pueblo de Oro one-point back after getting 45s from Miguel Cheng and Apolonio Roa and 43 from Mike Celdran.

Alabang fielded just three players for the day, with the 45 of Louie Lim and the 37 of Pete Cervantes the other scores counting.

Lineups for the second round in Bukidnon for both squads have yet to be revealed, though Garcia and Hernandez, who were the first men out for their respective sides in round one, are sure to play Friday because of pressing matter in Manila in the weekend.

Orchard opened up a five-point lead over Manila Golf in the Founders Division after Louie Garcia matched par for 54 points and Japanese Kazuo Hiyashita fired a 73 for 53 to make up the bulk of the squad’s 151 also at Pueblo de Oro.

Ed Abesamis pooled 44 points and Orchard discarded the 35 of Oscar Patricio even as Earl McCarthy assembled 54 points, Egay San Luis 50 and Eduardo Cuunjieng 44 to banner Manila Golf’s 146.

Wack Wack was in third spot just three back of Manila Golf after getting 51 points from Azuhata, 47 from Jose Ma. Santos and 45 from Takonobo Taira. Pablo Soon’s 31 was disregarded.

Fil-Am SFO took a nine-point lead over Zamboanga in Sportswriters play after drawing 44 points each from Gil Delos Santos and Don Gomez for a 129 total over at Del Monte in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

Lorenzo Rendom’s 41 was the third score that counted for SFO, which threw away the 40 points of Dante Foronda.

Zambo got 45 points from Bebot Wee and 42 from Akejo Marquez but was slowed down by the 33 of Reuben Chiong. Raul Roldan’s 23 did not count.

Travelers was in third spot with a 119 as the team rode Al Calalang’s brilliant 52. JHoe Rubim fired 36 and Romy Lindawan 39 for its 119. Doc Santiago failed to count with a 29.

Meanwhile, The Country Club will likely miss the centerpiece Men’s championship, leaving defending champion Canlubang and Del Monte as the only favorites to slug it out for the title starting Feb. 23.

In a letter sent to tournament officials last Feb. 11, The Country Club, which should have been the favorite in the event, said that it might not be able to field in a team “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

The squad has until the team captain’s meeting on Tuesday to change its mind and not face the mandatory one-year suspension next year. The Country Club would also need to reapply for the tournament after serving out that one-year ban.

Action shifts to Del Monte on Friday, the rolling, Celestino Tugot-designed layout viewed by the field as where the championship could be decided.

This year’s competition is backed by platinum sponsors Boeing, Airbus, Radio Mindanao Network, Business Mirror and Interactive Broadcast Media (DWWW). Major sponsors are People Asia, 105.1 Crossover, GE Aviation and Traversing the Orient.

Also lending support are corporate sponsors Manila Bulletin and Bombo Radyo Philippines, while minor sponsors are Lufthansa TechnikPhilippines, MasterCard and Century Park Hotel. Prize donors include Panasonic Avionics and Tanduay.

More detailed information on the tournament is available on the dedicated PAL Interclub webpage at www.philippineairlines.com/events/events.jsp.(pr)


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