Luisita dethrones Canlubang in PAL Seniors Interclub

Edmund Yee of Luisita celebrates after sinking a birdie on the 18th hole at the close of the 33rd Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub golf team championships.

CEBU CITY – Luisita clinched its 17th championship in the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Seniors Interclub tournament after holding off rival Canlubang Saturday at the Alta Vista Golf Club.

Luisita finished the four-day event with 569, three points clear of Canlubang which did not go down without a fight.

Six points down before the start of the final round, Canlubang reduced the margin to just three after Abe Rosal edged Chino Raymundo, 49-46, in the first flight.

Damasus Wong, the second man out, was cruising at one-over par through 15 holes, but finished disastrously with bogey, a pickup and double bogey to limp home with 47.

Wong went out of bounds off the tee in the 17th and 18th after missing the green on the 16th for bogey.

In contrast, Edmund Yee, his Luisita flight mate, breezed through the last three holes at one-under to salvage 49 points.

That seven-point swing in the last three holes turned out to be what Luisita needed to dethrone Canlubang.

Luisita also drew 50 points from Eddie Bagtas and 46 from Rafael Garcia.

Veteran Rolly Viray turned in 52 points for Canlubang while teammate Abe Avena did not count with 42 points.

Del Monte Golf Club finished third with 552 points, closing out with 144 points behind Ramon Velez (54), Erning Apas (46) and Florencio Badelic (44).

First round leader Cebu Country Club wound up fourth with 543 after a finishing 141. Scoring for CCC were Ramontito Garcia 51, Nonoy Tirol 46 and Jufil Sato 44.

“I think the key to our victory was the extra practice we did last month,” said Luisita non-playing captain Jeric Hechanova. “We were able to identify which players to field. We knew that Eddie (Bagtas) would not fare well at Club Filipino de Cebu.”

The only time Luisita changed its lineup was when Benjie Sumulong got disqualified in the second round after scoring 51 points.

“It was important to field Benjie again because he wanted redemption,” said Hechanova whose gambled paid off when Sumulong scored 50 points.

“We did not play well,” conceded Abe Rosal who managed 48 and 49 points at Alta Vista.

Viray was the only Canlubang player to break 50 in four days.

This year’s Interclub is sponsored by Radio Mindanao Network, Asian Air Safari, and Vanguard Radio Network. Also extending support are ABS-CBN Global Ltd. (The Filipino Channel), Rolls Royce, Primax Broadcasting Network, UM Broadcasting Network (Mindanao), Fox Sports, Cignal TV, GECAS, Boeing, Lufthansa Technik AG, Manila Standard, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Dusit Thani Manila, and Casino Filipino. Official hotel is Quest Hotel Conference Center Cebu.

Day 4 Scores
Championship – Luisita 569 (138-138-148-145), Canlubang 566 (138-140-140-148), Del Monte 569 (138-138-148-145), Cebu Country Club 543 (142-131-129-141) (pr)

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