Cebu—Drawing 36 points from burly Bayani Garcia’s even-par 72 effort yesterday, Cebu Country Club continued to lead in the overall race of the 72nd Philippine Airlines Interclub, with Manila Southwoods regaining the Championship Division pace at Mactan Island Golf Course here.
The Founders Division campaigners pooled a third round 131 over the tight and bouncy layout near the international airport, as they take a 376 tally into today’s final round at the Cebu Country Club course they all call home.
“We prepared so hard to win the Founders,” playing captain Marco Sarmiento, who will play in the final round, said. “We never expected for any of this (leading the overall race) to be happening. But now that we’re here, we’ll definitely go for it (overall championship).”
Should Cebu CC sustain its magnificent performance, this will mark just the second time in the long and rich history of the country’s unofficial team championship that this will happen, with the first taking place when Aguinaldo pulled out the feat in 1988 also here in Cebu.
Marc Gonzales fired 35 and Jon Alvarez posted 33 with Cebu CC counting either 27 of Eric Deen and Martin Mendoza.
Southwoods matched Cebu CC’s 131 after getting 36 points from Sean Ramos, 33 from Masaichi Otake and 32 and 30 points, respectively, from Aidric Chan and Jae Hyung-jhun. The Carmona-based squad, seeking to duplicate Canlubang’s five-peat in the 1990s, threw away the 28 of the veteran Jun Jun Plana.
“I am still confident with my final round team,” non-playing skipper Thirdy Escano said as Yuto Katsuragawa, the teen Japanese national team member, comes out for Southwoods together with Carl Corpuz, Josh Jorge, Chepe Dulay and former junior world champ Kristopher Arevalo.
Luisita made a move and grabbed second spot in the Championship Division, eight points behind Southwoods, after shooting a day-best 132 built around the 35 of Luis Guerrero and the 34 of Josef Bucay. Jhondee Quibol and Elee Bisera scored 32 and 31 for the Luisitans.
Del Monte was another four points behind after a 117, even as surprise first round second placer Tagaytay Highlands continued to slow down with a week-worst 104 to be at 337 and 35 points off the Championship Division pace.
Orchard stayed in second in the Founders after a 122, 23 points behind Cebu CC. Orchard is 13 points ahead of the third-placed Forest Hills squad and could wind up winning the bracket if Cebu goes on to rule the overall division.
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.
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