DAVAO – Manila Southwoods got the decent start that it wanted, pooling 136 points at tree-lined Apo Golf here for an 11-point lead over Canlubang after the first 18 holes of the 70th Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub Men’s Championship, Wednesday.
Young Carl Corpus fired a one-over-par 73 worth 35 points, the veteran Jun Jun Plana and Jets Sajulga accounted for 34s and Kristoffer Arevalo completed the balanced attack with 33 as the Carmona-based par-busters got their “three-peat” bid off to a rip-roaring start.
“Yes, this is the start that we want,” non-playing skipper Thirdy Escano said after congratulating anchor Plana on the ninth green, the team’s last hole. “But this is just the first round. We need to continue playing well.”
Jolo Magcalayo matched par for 36 points, Luis Castro fired 34 and Jakey Yulo accounted for 29 to make up for the bulk of Cangolf’s 125. But the Sugar Barons had to count the 26 of JP De Claro, who couldn’t bounce back from a bum start.
So efficient was Southwoods that it had to throw away the 29 of Tom Kim, while Cangolf’s struggles were highlighted as lanky Fernando Zaldarriaga accounted for only 24.
“We were not expected to win this anyway,” Cangolf owner Luigi Yulo said. “This is a good effort on the part of the boys and there’s still a lot of golf left to be played.”
Action shifts to Rancho Palos Verdes for the second and third rounds and Cangolf will be sending out the multi-titled Rupert Zaragosa to lead its second five and help stop the bleeding.
Luisita was 21 points after a 115 built around the 32 of Josh Jorge, while Del Monte pooled 111 after Noel Langgamin fired a 32 and Mel Cubillo 31.
“The important thing for us is to not allow (Canlubang) to gain ground (in the second round),” Escano, a member of several champion Southwoods teams in the past, said. “I still expect scoring to be very close at Palos (Verdes) and we must keep them at bay.”
Southwoods still has Yuto Katsuragawa, Aidric Chan, Ira Alido, Liam Cully and Jama Reyes kept in the freezer in the first round and this five could be more explosive than the one that came out yesterday.
Escano, though, refused to say who will see action for the second day while stressing the need to come up with a scheme that would allow him to field his finest five for the final day on Saturday, which will also be at Apo Golf.
“This is where the tournament will be decided. I have no doubt about that,” he said. “Big (point) swings can take place here.”
The 70th PAL Interclub Platinum sponsors are Mareco Broadcasting Network, A&E Networks Asia, RMN Networks, The Manila Standard, Fox Networks Group, Rolls-Royce, TV5, MasterCard, TFC and Business Mirror.
Major sponsors include Asian Air Safari, Airbus, Primax Broadcasting Network and Sabre Airline Solutions while Corporate sponsors are Baron Travel Corporation, Boeing, MX3, GE Aviation, Bombo Radyo Philippines, Asia Brewery, Tanduay Distillers, Sabre Airline Solutions and Tourism Promotions Board.
The donors are Shangri-La at The Fort, Trinity Insurance and Eton Properties.
A total of 83 teams are entered in the four-day, five-division event which ends on Saturday. They will play at the Apo Golf and Country Club and Rancho Palos Verdes.
Manila Southwoods 136, Canlubang 125, Luisita 115, Del Monte 111
Orchard 123, Wack Wack 120, Villamor 120, Forest Hills 117, Tagaytay Highlands 117, Riviera 116, Cebu 113, Apo 112, Valley 107, Pueblo de Oro 106, Rancho Palos Verdes 105, Social Redhawk 103, Negros Occidental 103, Alabang 100
Sherwood Hills 106, Lumbia 106, Alta Vista 93, Davao City 91, Manila 89, Iloilo 88, Victorias 85, Eagle Ridge 81, Club Filipino de Cebu 74, Fil Am Hawaii 71, Greenhills West 61, Vancouver 61, Pinoy Vancouver 60, Tagaytay Midlands 59
Stanford 96, Mactan Island 87, Philippine Navy 85, Guinhalaran 84, Sta Elena 84, Zamboanga 83, UP tee Jots 81, Dagupan 81, Sarangani 80, Camp Evangelista 77, Camp John Hay 72, Cotabato 70, Team Iligan 69, Fil Am Fairfield 69, SF Maharlika 67, Bacolod 63, Team Brookside 63, Bay Area 62, Melbourne Pinoy 62, Mabuhay Golf 58, South Bay 54, Seattle 45, Vancouver Greater 41
PGA of British Columbia 95, Camp Aguinaldo 75, KGC Boys Melbourne 74, San Juanico 74, Filipino Golfers Dubai 72, South Cotabato 71, MSU 71, Pearl Kai Hawaii 69, Silicon Valley 68, Skywest 67, Lanang 66, San Francisco Crystal Springs 64, Van City 63, Pittsburg Fil Am 61, NZ Black Tee 57, Parbreakers 57, Green Tee Riyadh Team 57, Filipino Golfers Association Team 1 56, Mt Malindang 54, Washington DC 51, Moffet Field 47, Filipino Golfers Abu Dhabi 43, Baguio 40, Yokohama Eagles 38, Fil Oz Sydney 38, Filipino Golfers UAE 32, Filipino Golfers Kuwait Team 2 10. (PAL)