CLARK, Angeles – Defending champion Canlubang and arch rival Luisita renew their storied rivalry at the start of the Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub golf team championships Thursday at the Mimosa Golf and Country Club.
The two rivals have divided the titles evenly since 2000, each winning eight. This year won’t be an exception.
Tommy Manotoc and Eddie Bagtas, who figured in a tie for the individual title last year in Cebu City, will sit out the first round to be played at the tougher Mountainview layout.
Canlubang is fielding national seniors champion Abraham Avena, Rene Unson, Mari Hechanova and Dave Hernandez.
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia and Pepot Inigo will team up with fresh recruits Jingy Tuason and Chito Laureta for Luisita.
The 19-time champion Luisita made a minor revamp of its lineup by recruiting three new players, an addition not lost on Manotoc.
“They’re young,” exclaimed Manotoc. “Luisita is definitely stronger. If you take a look at our team, we’re older.”
Avena, the national seniors champion, is returning for Canlubang following a car accident last year that prevented him from playing in Cebu.
If Avena plays according to form, Canlubang can match up with Luisita’s first round lineup.
Aside from the championship division, the Founders and Aviator will be played at the Mountainview. Action in the Sportswriters and Friendship classes gets going at the Acacia and Lakeview.
A total of 94 teams are entered in the 30th staging of the seniors’ event, prelude to the 69th PAL Regular Men’s Interclub next week.
Roy Damole, skipper of the 55 years old and above team of Cebu’s Alta Vista Golf and Country said that there are four of them in the venue ready for the tournament, but he hopes one of his players, who is set to play on the first round can make it to Mimosa on time for the 11 am tee off.
Damole, who will also be a rookie in the team, said that the first four players could be him, former men’s team captain Victor Gocela, Cebu-based Japanese Masahisa Kawakami, and Cagayan de Oro-based Jun Suan. If Emir Abutazil, who said that he was feeling under the weather Wednesday, can make it to the venue, then Damole said, he will not see action on the first round.
The tournament requires teams to field a minimum of three and a maximum of four players per round with the three best scores to count for the team total.
Alta Vista is bracketed under the second-ranked Founders Division.
FORMAT AND SPONSORS
The Molave Points System will be used where a double-eagle is worth seven points, a hole-in-one six, an eagle five, birdie four, par three, bogey two, and a doible-bogey is one.
The 69th PAL Interclub is sponsored by People Asia, Travelife, Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), Manila Broadcasting Corporation, Airbus, Business Mirror and Philippine National Bank.
Other supporters are Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer.net, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, Tanduay Distillers, Asia Brewery, Splash Corporation, RFM Corporation, Goldilocks, Eastgate Publishing Corporation, Robinsons Land and Rolls-Royce.