By NIMROD NL QUINONES
When all hope of having a Cebu team finish at the podium of the 70th Philippine Airlines Interclub in Davao City was about to vanish, Mactan Island Golf Club came roaring like an attack helicopter helping extricate the troops on the ground in the nick of time.
The club, which is based inside the Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City, snatched the third spot in the fourth-ranked Sportswriters Division riding on the superb performance of junior golf standout Russel Bautista, who carded two-under-par 34 points at the Apo Golf Club Saturday.
Sarangani took home the title with a huge final round finishing the four-day event with 377 points on rounds of 80, 91, 97, and 109.
Second place went to erstwhile leader Santa Elena with 375 (84, 97, 111, 83) while MIGC made 368 on rounds of 87, 99, 84, and 98.
Supporting the 16-year-old Bautista were Col. Elvis Jequinto with 24 points, Jay-R Aguilon with 21, and retired Police General Eddie Benigay with 19. The fifth player on the last round was retired Air Force General Bam Jamorabo with 12 points.
The other members of the MIGC team were BGen Nick Parilla, Col. Gerry Catindoy, Pio Barandog, Armand Guangko, and Noel Abad.
The tournament uses the Stableford or PAL Points System where a double-eagle is worth six points, an ace five, eagle four, birdie, three, par two, and bogey is one.
The tournament format also calls for a team to field five players per round, but only the four best scores will count for the team total.
OTHER CEBU TEAMS
It was a different story for the other Cebu teams particularly Cebu Country Club and Alta Vista Golf and Country Club, which were running third in their respective divisions entering the final round.
In the second-ranked Founders Division, CCC had its worst day in the tournament Saturday shooting only 111 points after scoring 113, 122, and 119 in the first three rounds, to settle for a total of 465 points, which was good for fifth place.
Orchard took the title for the Founders class with 480 points (123, 116, 124, 117) followed by Forest Hills on second with 477 (117, 115, 1113, 132). Taking the last spot at the podium was Valley Golf with 468 (107, 1118, 118, 125) while one point back was Riviera with 467.
Harvey Sytiongsa led the Cebuanos on the final round with 34 points. Also counting for the team total were Julius Pierre Neri and Ferdinand Chua with 26 apiece and last to count was either of the 25s made by Andre Borromeo and Marko Sarmiento.
Alta Vista Golf and Country Club, which was also at third place going to the last round in the Aviator Division, fizzled out at the Apo Golf Club to finish tied for fifth with Eagle Ridge with 361 points apiece.
Sherwood Hills won the Aviator Division title with 413 points on rounds of 106, 113, 101, and 93.
Second place went to Lumbia with 382 (106-105-88-83) and third to Davao City Golf with 375 (91-89-97-98).
Manila Golf was fourth with 372.
During the final round, Gabriel Yap once again led Alta Vista with 23 points. Also counting were Dr. Jerry Uyheng with 21, Masahisa Kawakami with 19 and either of the 18s made by Anton Pastoriza and Thomas Ngo.
Club Filipino de Cebu was also grouped in the Aviator class and finished ninth out of 14 teams. CFIC scored a total of 324 on rounds of 74, 81, 91, and 78.
Scoring for the team in the final round were Mandaue City Councilor Olin Seno with 24, Cebu City Councilor Raymond Garcia with 20, Leo Ranido with 19, and Evans Tumaliwan with 15. Jingo Abellana scored 9 points.
Manila Southwoods completed its rout of the field to score a three-peat with a total of 547 points on rounds of 136, 136, 155, and 120. The team was manned by Yuto Katsuragawa, Kristoffer Arevalo, Aidric Chan, Ira Alido, Laim Patrick Cully, Tom Kim, Carl Corpus, Jets Sajulga, Jama Reyes, and Jun-jun Plana.
Second place went to Canlubang with 503 while Del Monte slipped past Luisita to take third place with 472 points.
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 the Corporate sponsors are Baron Travel Corporation, Boeing, MX3, GE Aviation, Bombo Radyo Philippines, Asia Brewery, Tanduay Distillers, Sabre Airline Solutions and Tourism Promotions Board.
Donors are Shangri-La at The Fort, Trinity Insurance and Eton Properties.
Two Cebuanos also made it in the individual category with Olin Seno of Club Filipino topping Flight D with a total of 55 points on rounds of 31 and 24.
CCC’s Harvey Sytiongsa made it to third place in Flight B with 62 points on rounds of 28 and 34. He finished behind Canlubang’s Guido Madanas with 68 and Forest Hills’ Inigo Raymundo with 64.
To qualify for the individual award, a player must have played both courses in the tournament. Some players sacrifice their quest for individual honor and play one course twice as part of team strategy.