By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Defending champion Luisita went off to a hot start in the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Seniors Interclub firing 137 points at the Mactan Island Golf Club in Lapu-Lapu City to take control of this tournament for players aged 55 years old and above.
Archrival Canlubang is at second with 129 points while Cebu Country Club is third with 126 points. Tied for fourth place are Cebu’s Alta Vista Golf and Country Club and Orchard Golf Club with 117 points apiece.
Former pro Eddie Bagtas led Luisita with even-par 54 points in the Molave Points System while also counting in the four-to-play, three-to-count format were Rudy Amata 43 and Richie Garcia 40. The 39 of Seve Roxas Chua did not count.
Canlubang had Jose Mari Hechanova and Dave Hernandez each fired 44 while Bing Bunye had 41. The fourth player was Renato Unson with 40 points.
Cebu Country Club was led by Koichi Horii with 43 while Masatsugo Ochiai fired 42 and Kim Kwang Seok had 41. Club president Ramontito Garcia made 40 points, which did not count.
Alta Vista Golf and Country Club fired a total of 117 points in the first round. Team captain Hospicio ‘Razy’ Razon led the team with 43 points while Masahisa Kawakami added 40 and Emir Abutazil added 34 points. The fourth member of the team, Wendell Yap, a rookie in this age group, managed only 21 points, which did not count.
Another Cebuano team in the premiere class is the returning Club Filipino Incorporada de Cebu, which is a co-host of the tournament, put together 89 points courtesy of Elias Espinoza with 35, Hector Almario with 32 and Joselito ‘Jiji’ Gullas with 22 points. Their fourth member was Rolf Hess with 15 points.
Action in this category moves to Club Filipino Friday.
In this second-ranked group, Eagle Ridge and Pueblo de Oro are tied for the lead with 133 points apiece playing at the club Filipino course in Danao Thursday.
At third is Camp John Hay with 129 followed by Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club with 125.
Tied for fifth are Valley Golf and co-host Mactan Island Golf Club with 124 points.
Noel Abad led Mactan with 44 points and also counting for the team were Pedrito Buenavista with 43 and Loloy Sabuga with 37. Bert Creus had 31, which did not count.
The teams in this group will play in Mactan Friday.
Hotel H20, Travelife, Boeing International Corp., Business Mirror and GE Aviation are sponsoring the twin events. Other backers include Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), People Asia Magazine, Whealth Inc., Aerospace, Uniglobe Travelware Co. Inc., Tanduay Distillers and Intercontinental Manila.