By NIMROD NL QUINONES
It was an all-Cebu show in the 72nd Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub Golf Tournament with co-host Cebu Country Club making history by being only the second team to win the overall title while playing in the second-ranked Founders Division.
Club Filipino Inc. de Cebu and co-host Mactan Island Golf Club also topped their respective divisions. Alta Vista Golf and Country Club also earned a podium finish by finishing second to CFIC in the Aviator Division.
Cebu Country Club claimed the title with a four-day total of 516 points on rounds of 124, 121, 131 and 140.
Henry Arabelo, the tournament director said that the Cebuanos will take home the Championship Division title as overall winner of the tournament.
Second place went to Manila Southwoods, which won the title for the past four years, with a total of 507 (125-118-131-135) while third place went to Luisita with 490 points (118-114-132-126).
Big man Bayani Garcia and his nephew Julius Pierre Neri led Cebu Country Club with even-par 36 apiece. Also counting on the final day were Mark Anthony Dy with 35 and skipper Marko Sarmiento with 33. The 32 of Harvey Sytiongsa did not count.
The rest of the members of the team were Jon Joseph Alvarez, Eric Deen, Marc Gonzalez, Martin Mendoza and Hugo Saurat.
The first time a feat like this was pulled was 31 years ago also here in Cebu when Aguinaldo upended Canlubang by winning the overall title playing under the Founders Division. Incidentally among the players of Aguinaldo that year was Cebuano Thirdy Escano, who is now the non-playing captain of Manila Southwoods.
This performance of the Cebu teams made up big for the home front after not one of their counterparts made it to the podium in last week’s PAL Seniors Interclub.
Since Cebu Country Club was elevated to the Championship Division, Orchard took home the crown of this second-ranked category with 482 points on rounds of 121, 110, 122 and 129.
Second place went to Forest Hills with 458 (110-113-117-118) while third went to Valley with 439 (108-117-111-103).
It was a 1-2 finish for Cebu teams in this third-ranked category after Club Filipino did a coast-to-coast performance and Alta Vista needed a huge final push to make it to the podium.
Club Filipino led from start to finish and had an aggregate of 409 points on rounds of 112, 92, 95 and 110.
Leading the team on the final round was Baltaire Balangauan with one-over-par 35 points. He was backed by his brother-in-law Jerome Flores with 31, Teddy Boy Almario with 22 and re-electionist Cebu City North District Councilor Raymond Garcia with 22. The 17 of Jovi Neri di not count.
The rest of the team members were Evans Tumaliwan, Dominic Gotiong, Jufil Sato, Nilo Seno, and Andot Mondares.
Playing with only four men on the last round as Cebu-based Korean Andrew Ahn had to rush to Manila due to an emergency, Alta Vista showed grit and composure to climb from fourth to second place with a total of 393 points on rounds of 103, 97, 92 and 101.
Teenager Weiyu Gao led Alta Vista on the last day with 29 points and the rest of the team were Gabriel Yap, Jr. with 27, Dr. Jerry Uyheng 23, and Eric Kong 22.
The rest of the team members were skipper Enrico Solon, Blake Go, Tommy Ngo, Marlo Cugtas and Joseph Yun.
Third place went to Rancho Palos Verdes 1 with 390 (101-93-92-104).
Co-host Mactan, which played its last round at home also thwarted Camp John Hay’s attempt to bag the title of this fourth-ranked category.
Mactan finished with a total of 342 points on rounds of 92, 80, 86 and 84.
Pio Barandog led Mactan on the last day with 28 points and also counting were Elvis Jequinto 22, Gerry catindoy 19, and Nicolas Parilla 15. The 13 of Bam Jamorabo did not count.
The other members of the team were Werner Elpedes, Armand Guangko, Vic Radaza, Jun-jun Cabajar and Ed Benigay.
Second place went to John Hay with 339 and third was Camp Evangelista with 323.
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.