By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Three rounds. Three leaders.
After three rounds of competition, a new leader emerged in the 68th Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub Golf Tournament as Manila Southwoods seized the driver’s seat with an aggregate of 365 points playing at the club Filipino layout in Danao City Friday.
Southwoods fired rounds of 120, 119, and 126 to post a one-point lead over defending champion Orchard and a seven-point advantage over co-host Cebu Country Club.
In the second-ranked Founders Division, Cebu’s Alta Vista Golf and Country Club put itself in a good position for a podium finish as it now tied for second with Apo Golf and Country Club of Davao City with 333 points.
The tournament follows a five-to-play, four-to-count format using the Stableford or PAL Points System. This scoring system awards six points for a double-eagle, five for a hole-in-one, four for eagle, three for birdie, two for par, and one for bogey.
Southwoods had Vince Lauron scoring two-over-par 34 points to lead his team in the third round. Other scorers were Jets Sajulga 31, Joseph Tambunting 31, and Jun Plana 30. The 29 of Manfred Guangko did not count.
Orchard, which led after the first round, has an aggregate of 364 points on rounds of 129, 111, and 124. Veteran Rodel Mangulabnan fired even-par 36 points in the third round and was backed by King Stehmeier with 32, Peter Paul Salvador 31, Niko Santiano 25. Their fifth player was Aian Arcilla with 21.
Cebu Country Club, which is hoping to reclaim the title this year after losing in its bid for a three-peat in Bacolod in 2014, fired rounds of 111, 126, and 121 for a total of 358 points.
Japanese teenager Gen Nagai led the Cebuanos with 33 points. Ex-pro Mark Dy shot 32 while Bayani Garcia made 29 and another ex-pro, Carl Almario shot 27. The 26 of Harvey Sytiongsa did not count.
What makes this race even more interesting is that Wack Wack, which sits fourth is only one point behind the Cebuanos and Del Monte is another point further back.
Nagai will be playing his final round Saturday along with Eric Deen, Kiyofumi Takahashi, Marko Sarmiento, and skipper Montito Garcia.
Alabang Country Club has practically wrapped up the title of this group with an overwhelming 22-point lead over its closest pursuers.
Alabang fired rounds of 118, 121, and 116. Counting for the team total at Club Filipino yesterday were Liam Patrick Cully and Philippie Palanca with 31 points apiece, Anthony See with 28, and Arnel Paras with 26. The 22 of Rocco sumabat did not count.
Alta Vista fired 114 points to add to its previous rounds of 114 and 105 for a total of 333. Avelino ‘Jun’ Zambo, Jr. led the team with two-over-par 34 points and got ample support from 13-year-old Weiyu Gao, who fired 30 points. Also counting for the team total were veteran Victor Gocela with 26, and rookie Andrew Ahn with 24. Skipper Enrico Solon made 18, which did not count.
Solon said that the team will go all out Saturday with 15-year-old Weiwei Gao, Gabriel Yap, Anton Pastoriza, Aris Mata, and Marvin Mendoza to play in the final round.
Apo also sits at second with 333 on rounds of 108, 97, and 128. The team got a big lift from Jing Gavino, who carded three-under-par 39 points Friday. Also counting for the team total were Juan Kalroz Alba 33, Jorge Martinez 31, and Leo Fusilero 25.
Negros is fourth with 328 (112-106-110) followed by Valley with 327 (116-109-102).
Co-host Club Filipino is at tenth with 316 points on rounds of 119, 97, and 100. Razy Razon led the team in the third round 29 points and also counting for the team total were Andot Mondares 27, Baltaire Balangauan 24, and Teddy Almario 20. Dominic Gotiong made 16 points, which did not count.
The complete results for the third-ranked Sportswriters Division, where Mactan Island Golf Club has been grouped were not yet available as of press time. Initially only the scores of Romano Castillon 25, Col. Gerry Catindoy 23, Retired General Bam Jamorabo 20, and Marlo Cugtas 16 were accounted for.
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 Manila Bulletin, Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), People Asia Magazine, Whealth Inc., Aerospace, Uniglobe Travelware Co. Inc., Tanduay Distillers and Intercontinental Manila.
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