By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Canlubang went full throttle behind the stellar performance of Tommy Manotoc on the final round at the Mactan Island Golf Club to run away with the title of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Seniors Interclub at the close of the event, Sunday.
Manotoc capped his comeback to the event by leading Canlubang with one-over-par 53 points in the final round to help his team post a 17-point victory over last year’s winner and archrival Luisita. The Sugar Barons amassed a total of 543 points on rounds of 129, 140, 135, and 139.
Also counting for the team total in the final round of this four-to-play, three-to-count event using the Molave Points System, were Jose Mari Hechanova 46 and Bing Bunye 40. The fourth player, Rolando Viray, had 37, which did not count.
Other members of the winning team were Luigi Yulo, David Hernandez, Tony Olivesm and Renato Unson.
While Canlubang coasted, Luisita’s engine sputtered as it managed only 125 points on the final round for a four-day total of 526 points and a second place finish.
Cebu Country Club had the best finish among all home teams taking third place in the premiere Championship Division with an aggregate of 523 points on rounds of 126, 130, 134, and 133. Leading the scoring on the final round was Kim kwang Seok with 49 points and he was backed by Masatsugo Ochiai and Nonoy Tirol with 42 apiece. Efren Sarmiento made 36, which did not count.
The other members of the team were skipper and club president Montito Garcia, Dr. Lor Alaan, George Hong, and Koichi Horii.
Orchard finished fourth with 501 points while Cebu’s Alta Vista Golf and Country Club landed fifth with 471 points (117-120-117-117). Victor Gocela led the team on the final day with 46 points and he was backed by skipper Razy Razon with 36 and Masahisa Kawakami with 35. The 34 of Wendell Yap did not count.
Gocela will again be competing next week as part of the Alta Vista team to the regular PAL Interclub.
The PAL Seniors’ Interclub is open exclusively to players aged 55 years old and above.
The last Cebu team in the Championship Division was co-host Club Filipino Incorporada de Cebu, which finished 9th out of 13 teams in the grouping.
The team scored a total of 352 points on rounds of 89, 89, 92, and 82. Club Filipino, which is seeing action in the seniors’ tournament for the first time since early 2000s, was automatically grouped under the Championship Division based on tournament guidelines.
Leading the team on the final round was lawyer Ellie Espinoza with 34 points while lawyer Julius Neri and Rene Piano each turned in 24 points.
Eagle Ridge bagged the title of this second-ranked group with a total of 490 points on rounds of 133, 127, 111, and 119.
Second place went to Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club with 486 while Riviera landed third with 485.
The last Cebu team in the tournament, Mactan Island Golf Club, finished tied for 12th in this group with 444 points on rounds of 124, 101, 105, and 114.
Forest Hills won the title of this third-ranked category with a four-day total of 426 points on rounds of 91, 119, 114, and 102.
Second place went to Del Monte with 423 and finishing third was Bacolod with a total of 420.
Results of the fourth-ranked Friendship Division were not yet available as of press time.
Hotel H20, Travelife, Boeing International Corp., Business Mirror and GE Aviation are sponsoring the twin events – the PAL Seniors and the 68th PAL Men’s Interclub. Other backers include Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), People Asia Magazine, Whealth Inc., Aerospace, Uniglobe Travelware Co. Inc., Tanduay Distillers and Intercontinental Manila.