BACOLOD – Never letting up until the very end, Manila Southwoods yesterday ran away with the Regular Men’s title in the PAL Interclub to take another step towards duplicating a feat done just once before.
Comfortably ahead going into the final day at Marapara here with a 20-point lead, the Carmona-based squad didn’t leave any room for anyone to stage a comeback and amassed a closing 146 for a 72-hole 551 tally for a fourth straight title, just one shy of the record.
Southwoods, which became just the third team to win four consecutive times, prevailed by an astounding 41 points over Luisita, which nipped Canlubang by eight.
The margin of victory is one of the biggest and downplayed Southwoods’ dominance of the field, and, more importantly, it moved the squad within another title of matching a five-year run by Canlubang from 2006-2010.
“This only goes to show that our grassroots program continues to work,” an elated Thirdy Escano, Southwoods’ non-playing skipper, said of the victory, which came just over a month after tournament host PAL was given a four-star rating by Skytrax, the global body that rates airlines and airports all over the world.
The Sugar Barons actually had two four-year championship streaks, counting its victories from 2000-2003.
Luisita carded its worst score for the week, a 125, but clung on to runner-up position even after Cangolf charged with its best round in four days, a 133, for 502 overall.
Taisei Shimizu reprised his opening round brilliance by shooting a three-under-par 67 worth 39 points, with Chepe Dulay firing 38 and Yuto Katsuragawa assembling a 37 to make up for the bulk of Southwoods’ closing round.
The veteran Jun Jun Plana’s 32 was the fourth-best score for Southwoods, which got a measly 25 from pro-bound Jama Reyes.
Southwoods is also set to lose Tom Kim, last year’s individual champion, to the pro ranks, but Escano believes that his squad if good for championship runs at least for the next three years.
“We have young, brilliant players still waiting for their chance to shine,” Escano said. “Southwoods is committed to giving these players the break they need. We are simply giving back what the game of golf has given to us.”
Rodel Mangulabnan fired 33, Don Petil and Dan Cruz added 31 each and either 30s of Jingy Tuason and Leandro Bagtas counted for Luisita, which has also started building the core of its team with young talents the last three years.
Jolo Magcalayo matched par for 36 points and Luis Castro added 35 for Canlubang, which hasn’t won this event since 2010.
This year’s Interclub’s Platinum sponsors are RMN and Manila Times, while major sponsors are Mastercard, The Philippine Manila Standard, Rolls Royce, Bombardier, TV5, Primax, BusinessWorld, Crossover and Fox.
Other sponsors include Boeing, PAGCOR, Belmonte Hotel, Eton Properties and Asia Brewery, Inc.(pr)
Day 4 Men’s 11 March 18
Championship : Manila Southwoods 551, Luisita 510, Canlubang 502, Del Monte 469
Founders : Forest Hills 460, Villamor Airbase 454, Wack Wack 450, Cebu 448, The Orchard 440, Tagaytay Highlands 433, Riviera 425, Valley Golf CC 422, Southern California Redhawks 381, Pueblo de Oro 381, akabang 374, Manila 355, Camp Aguinaldo 333, Summit Point 317, Pinoy Vancouver 169
Aviator : Negros Occidental 441, Sta Elena 400, Sherwood Hills 392, Rancho Palos Verdes 383, Sarangani-Gensan 368, Stanford 368, Alta Vista 365, Lumbia 362, Eagle Ridge 356, Apo 355, Davao City 333, Camp John Hay 288, Greenhills West 240, Moffet Field 164, Yokohama Eagles 157
Sportswriter : Mactan Island 389, Guinhalaran 372, Bacolod 355, Club Filipino de Cebu 355, Iloilo 338, Zamboanga 333, Tagaytay Midlands 332, UP tee Jots 325, Fil-Am Hawaii 310, Fil-Am Fairfield 306, PGA British Columbia 285, Cattle Creek 277, Seattle 277, Melbourne Pinoy 260, Camp Evangelista 252, Green Tee Club of Riyadh 250, MSU Marawi 234, SF Maharlika 232, Pearl Kai Hawaii 219, Parbreakers Golf Assoc of British Columbia 173
Friendship : South Cotabato 309, Filipino Golfers Assoc Kuwait 306, Bay Golf 306, San Juanico 276, Van City 272, Pittsburg 269, New Zealand Black Tee 268, Lanang 263, SF Crystal Springs 258, Figme Dubai 252, Iligan 243, Baguio 235, Skywest 233, Silicon Valley 222, Mabuhay Golf SFO 215, Mt Malindang 209, Fil Oz Sydney 193, Figme UAE 186, Cotabato 152, Greater Vancouver 104, Filipino Golfers Assoc Kuwait 97