The Philippine Airlines Interclub seniors’ golf tournament kicks off today with organizers hoping that clear skies will prevail in the succeeding days in Cebu City.
Heavy rains brought about by tropical depression “Crising” pounded the Queen City of the South for two consecutive days, forcing some cancellation of practice rounds at the Alta Vista and Club Filipino de Cebu yesterday, according to Luisita team manager Joey Romasanta.
Alta Vista and Club Filipino are two of the four courses that will be used this year. Next week, the regular Interclub will be played at the Cebu Country Club and Mactan course.
With “Crising” expected to leave the country’s area of responsibility, hopes are high that good weather will return starting today.
A three-cornered fight looms among defending champion Canlubang, Luisita and Cebu Country Club, three teams which were separated only by five points last year in Davao.
The Sugar Barons rallied behind Tommy Manotoc and Jose Mari Hechanova to edge Luisita by three and CCC by five points.
With Canlubang and Luisita facing manpower problems, CCC looks poised to win its first seniors crown at home.
The Sugar Barons will be without Manotoc who has been instrumental in all of their six championships while the Luisitans will miss the prolific Iggy Clavecilla.
Manotoc, who won the individual title last year at the age of 63, has not played 18 holes for months due to health problems.
Clavecilla, another former individual winner, has yet to fully recover from a freak accident last year in South Korea.
While CCC enjoys an edge in course familiarity, old rivals Canlubang and Luisita can count on their championship experience to make this year’s contest a free for all.
This year, the PAL Interclub is being sponsored by the Department of Tourism, 105.1 Crossover, Solar Sports, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, 92.3 FM Radyo 5, Araneta Coliseum and AXN. Major sponsors are Airbus, Manila Broadcasting Corporation, Philippine Broadcasting Network, People Asia, Radio Mindanao Network, Business Mirror and ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC).
Corporate sponsors include Radisson Blu Hotel, Shangri-La Resort & Spa, Boeing, Inquirer Golf Magazine, Philippines Graphic and Manila Bulletin.
Present during the ceremonial tee-off yesterday at Alta Vista were Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama; Peter Aznar, VP-Alta Vista; Evans Tumaliwan, VP-Club Filipino de Cebu; Atty. Domingo Duerme, PAL Senior Asst. VP-Mindanao & Interclub Chairman; and Felix J. Cruz, Jr., PAL VP-Marketing Support & Interclub co-chair.
A record 100 teams, including 53 from abroad, are entered in the four-day, five-to-play event.(pr)