By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Defending champion Orchard Golf and Country Club immediately went down to business to take control after the opening round of the 68th Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub Wednesday at the Cebu Country Club in Cebu City.
Orchard fired 129 points and is at least five points clear of the other contenders. Former junior world champion Kristoffer Arevalo, 15, fired two-under-par 38 points to lead the defending champions. Also counting for the team total were Jan Philippe de Claro and Raymund Sangil with 32 apiece and last count was Ace Stehmeier with 27 points. Their fifth player was Eric Borromeo.
The tournament uses the Stableford or PAL Points System. This format awards six points for a double-eagle, five for hole-in-one, four for eagle, three for birdie, two for par, and one for bogey.
This team event follows a five-to-play, four-to-count format.
Running second is Wack-Wack with 124 points courtesy of Sammy Sy 33, Elphege Wong 31, Tommy Manotoc 30, and Garry Uy 30. The 24 of Joseph Gan did not count.
Manila Southwoods runs third with 120 points followed by Del Monte with 119.
Cebu Country Club failed to capitalize on the home course advantage Wednesday as the team, which is tagged as one of the favorites, failed to deliver and made only total of 111 points, 18 behind the leader, and stands fifth.
Harvey Sytiongsa carded a six-over-par 30 points to lead the co-hosts while Kiyofumi Takahashi added 29, skipper Montito Garcia had 28 and last to count was ex-pro Carl Almario with 24. Lawyer Jovi Neri fired 22 points, which did not count for the team total.
Action in this premiere category shifts to Club Filipino in Danao City Thursday.
If the day one scores would be used as basis, an exciting battle looms in this second-ranked division with Villamor setting the early pace by shooting 121 points. Richard de los Santos and Garry Sales led the team with 33 points apiece and were backed by Bochuk Rivera with 29 and Arman Batalla with 26.
The teams in this category played at the Cebu Country Club.
Tagaytay Highlands is a point back with 120 while co-host Club Filipino Incorporada de Cebu lies third with 119 points.
Fernando ‘Andot’ Mondares and Jufil Sato each made five-over-par 31 points for Club Filipino while Baltaire Balangauan added 30 and Raymond Garcia had 27. The 21 of Peter Militante did not count for the team total.
Alabang is fourth with 118 points followed by Valley with 116. Cebu’s Alta Vista Golf and Country Club is sixth with 114 points.
Aris Mata led Alta Vista with 32 points while Gabriel Yap, Jr. added 30, 15-year-old Weiwei Gao had 29 and Marvin Mendoza made 23. The 22 of Anton Pastoriza did not count for the team total.
Rounding up the top ten are Negros with 112, Davao 110, Eagle Ridge 109, and Apo 108.
Fil-Am Hawaii leads this third group with an opening round of 100 points courtesy of Pat Viernes 31, Randy Garaza 30, Joe Ildefonso 21, and Francis Robiniol 18.
Cebu’s Mactan Island Golf Club, which was originally classified under the Founders Division was transferred to this third-ranked group and is now at second place with an opening round total of 94 points.
Army Col. Gerry Catindoy led the team with 29 points and also counting for the team total were Arman Guangko 25, Romano Castillon 20, and Cho Dam Ho 20. The 13 of club assistant GM Retired General Bam Jamorabo did not count.
Mactan was the only team in this group that played at Cebu Country Club while the rest played at Club Filipino.
Three teams – Bay Area Golf Organization, PGA British Columbia, and Victorias, are tied at third with 88 points apiece.
Hotel H20, Travelife, Boeing International Corp., Business Mirror and GE Aviation are sponsoring the PAL Interclub Seniors and Regular Men’s events. Other backers include Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), People Asia Magazine, Whealth Inc., Aerospace, Uniglobe Travelware Co. Inc., Tanduay Distillers and Intercontinental Manila.
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