Magpantay, Nolasco repeat as Mabuhay Miles golf champs
TAGAYTAY CITY – Lino Magpantay and Monchu Nolasco, a pair of old hands in local golf, showed why they’re in a class of their own when they ruled the Mabuhay Miles Elite Invitational with plenty to spare at the Tagaytay Midlands and Highlands courses.
Magpantay, veteran campaigner in the PAL Interclub with the Luisita senior team, and Nolasco, general manager of Shulman Air Freight, engaged in a tight duel at the Midlands’ tough East course on a cool, overcast day that made for ideal golfing conditions. It was the first time the Invitational was played in a high-altitude setting.
After 18 holes, both finished in a dead heat with a gross 74. But Magpantay’s lower handicap – five to his rival’s six – proved crucial as it enabled him to edge Nolasco by a stroke and capture the low-gross title, his third triumph after winning the low-net in 2010 and 2011.
Nolasco, the defending low-net champion, settled for his second straight title with a 68 in a superb round spiked by a tournament-high four birdies.
The two bested a field of 192 players – all Elite, Premier Elite and Million Miler members of Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay Miles program – in the event sponsored by MasterCard, Petron Corp. and Philippine National Bank.
But while the top two titles were snared by veteran former champions, the divisional honors all went to new faces.
Eduvigis “Joey” Solis, president of Enerkons Inc., banked on his familiarity with the course as a member of the home club to nose out Luis Tabuena, president of Production Village Corp., for the Class A crown.
Solis, who plays for Tagaytay Highlands in the PAL Interclub, won on the strength of superior pars, ten to seven, as he and Tabuena both finished tied with net 70s. Mark Monk fired the only eagle of the day at the 16th to grab third with a 71.
The tournament had as corporate sponsors Boeing, GE Aviation, Metrobank Card Corp., People Asia and Panasonic Avionics Systems Corp.
Also at Midlands, former San Miguel Beer shooting guard R.J. Rizada, now operations manager of Forgems Plus Technologies, showed a deft touch for a big man by firing two birdies and five pars en route to a net 70 to bag Class B in a tie-break over Goldenas Jewelry owner Antonio Atienza, Jr. Banker Wilfredo Maldia was a stroke back in third place.
No one won the Toyota Camry 2.5 V A/T staked by Toyota Motor Philippines for a hole-in-one. Century Park Hotel and Diamond Hotel Philippines were the official hotels of the tournament.
Over at the Highlands course, Class C was won by PNP finance officer Abraham Rojas, whose six pars trumped the two of Magleo Adriano, president of American Resources Group Philippines, when they wound up tied at net 70. Randolph Ang, vice president of Greenfield Development Corp., had a 72 for third place.
BDO Unibank, Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Tanduay Distillers, Union Bank and Victorinox Travel Gear/World Traveller were the event’s minor sponsors.
Class D produced yet another tie at the top with trader Sergio Ong and ophthalmologist Ricardo Yang battling to a draw with net 71s. In the count-back, Ong’s lone birdie gave him the class title. Henry Malicdem, finance director of Cypress Manufacturing, closed with a net 72 for third.
Loralie Roberto, director of garments firm PGI, retained her title in the Ladies division with a net 69 from a gross 82. It was her third triumph overall, having also won in 2009.
The new Seniors division, introduced this year for male players 60 years old and up, was a big hit – attracting 22 players in its maiden run, including eventual low-gross winner Magpantay.
His elevation to overall honors opened the door for Sausalito, California-based “Million Miler” Emeterio Dikitanan, president of Snaps Reprographics, whose net 71 made him the inaugural Seniors champion.
John Garcia, director of Argee Development Corp., won the Guest division with a net 67 out of a gross 74.
Donors included Asia Brewery, Boracay Garden Resort, Clark Shoes UK, Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, InterContinental Manila, Kameraworld, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Manila, Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort, Pan Pacific Manila, and the San Miguel Group of Companies (San Miguel Brewery, Ginebra San Miguel, San Miguel Purefoods, Magnolia and San Mig Coffee).
Veteran sportscaster Sev Sarmenta hosted the awarding ceremonies, with entertainment provided by alluring singers Rachel Alejandro and Sheree, and retro band Spirit of ’67.(pr)