Cebu Country Club jumped out of the gates hard on Wednesday at the Del Monte Club in Bukidnon as Carl Almario fired a two-under-par 70 worth 38 points to lead the Cebuanos to a three-point advantage over Del Monte after the first round of the 64th PAL Interclub Men’s championship.
Almario, brother of the late former national and PBA player Alfie, actually returned one of three 70s for the day and got able support from an unheralded backup crew as Cebu tallied 136 in a truly fine start at the heavily-wooded Del Monte course here.
Cebu’s Championship stint is actually its second, and Almario, together with Gio Gandionco, Mark Dy and Lloyd Go made sure that they would have an auspicious start.
Gandiongco fired 35 like Dy and Go assembled a 28 as Cebu threw away the 27 of Joseph Stevens.
Banny Abano also tallied 38 to pace Del Monte, the 2004 champion which got 34 points from Mel Cubillo, 31 from Julius Bautista. The hosts’ third score was either 30s of Magno Arancon Jr. or Mark Mondilla.
Canlubang lurked another point back after Art Arbole, a discovery from Bukidnon, also scored 38 that went with Paul Echavez’ 36, the 32 from veteran Abe Rosal and the 26 of Interclub debutant Gabriel Manotoc.
The 24 points of reigning Callaway World 12-under champion Ruperto Zaragosa III did not count in the Barons’ 132.
Over at Pueblo de Oro in Cagayan de Oro, Wack Wack zoomed to a six-point Founders’ Division lead over Alabang after getting 35 points from John Gobing and 34 each from Garry Uy and Oliver Gan that made up the bulk of its opening 131.
Hubert Lim’s 28 was the fourth score for Wack Wack as Tootsie de Jesus failed to count with a 27.
Arnel Paras scored 34 and Miguel Shah and JB Garcia each chipped in with 31 with young Basti Lorenzo accounting for 29 for Alabang’s second-running 125, which was three-up on Villamor.
Former junior golfer Jan Tambogon returned 35 points and Julius Pactolerin added 31 for Villamor, which had NGAP director Jun Arceo shooting 29 and Lito Toribio 27 for 122.
“We are not actually expecting to win, just win third or second,” Almario, 45, said. “But with the way things went today, who knows what can happen.”
Almario had six birdies overall against four bogeys.
Del Monte and Canlubang both didn’t start with their respective aces – Clyde Mondilla and Jobim Carlos – and took to looking at the field first before making their real moves.
Mondilla, the reigning Philippine Amateur champion, practiced both Del Monte and Pueblo de Oro and is expected to play in both venues, the same with Carlos, a member of the triumphant Lion City PH team in Indonesia.
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, Asia Brewery and Traversing the Orient.
Also lending support are corporate sponsors Manila Bulletin and Bombo Radyo Philippines, while minor sponsors are Lufthansa Technik Philippines, 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.palinterclub.com. (pr)