By NIMROD NL QUINONES
BACOLOD CITY – An inspired Alta Vista Golf and Country Club and a resilient Cebu Country Club made it a double victory for Cebu teams in the Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub played in this windy city.
Playing at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club (Marapara) Sunday, Alta Vista scored a repeat victory in the third-ranked Aviator Division by knocking out three-day leader Villamor on the final round.
Cebu Country Club, which saw its lead in the second-ranked Founders Division dwindle after three rounds, proved that it is no pushover and bagged the title after playing their final round at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club (Binitin) in the nearby town of Murcia.
Howling winds and the midday sun provided a challenge to all participants of this four-day event for players aged 55 years old and above that used the Molave Points System.
In the premier Championship Division, Canlubang, blew out the challenge of archrival Luisita to win the title.
Cebu Country Club did not only protect its lead but made sure there was a lot of room to wiggle as it scored an aggregate of 542 points on rounds of 140, 132, 134, and 136 to run away with the crown.
Second place went to co-host NOGCC team A with 528 (123-134-140, 130) edging Orchard in the countback. Orchard also had 528 points (136-126-142-124).
Koichi Horii and Edito ‘Nonoy’ Tirol each fired 47 points for Cebu Country Club on the final round while Kim Kwang Seok added 42 as the last player to count in the four-to-play, three-to-count format.
Their fourth player for the last round was George Hong, who shot 38.
Other members of the winning team are Cebu’s living golf legend Ramontito Garcia, Nelson Yuvallos, Dr. Lor Alaan, and Masatsugu Ochiai.
Alta Vista repeated as champions of this division, which was introduced last year.
While the victory last year came only after an infraction was made by another team, this year, the par-busters from the hills of Pardo, Cebu City showed what teamwork and a proper strategy in this tournament can do.
After trailing by 17 points on day 1 and being at 7th, Alta Vista climbed to second after the second round, but fell further back by 21 points to Villamor.
A huge third round that saw Alta Vista erasing all but one of the points advantage of Villamor, gave the Cebuanos an inspiration to toil hard to overcome the one-point deficit on the final round.
Ramon Sebastian, the club’s treasurer and golf director, wrought havoc on the strategy of Villamor as he once again dominated the opposition with 44 points. The very steady Razy Razon added 42 points while Masahisa ‘The Bomber’ Kawakami struggled yet finished with 38 as the last player to count.
Nolan ‘The Destroyer’ Rada made 34, which did not count.
The other members of the team are skipper Roy Damole, Emir Abutazil, Wendel Yap, and Victor Gocela.
Villamor, which finished with 473 points on round rounds of 125, 124, 110, and 114 settled for second while third place went to Fil-Am Hawaii with 461.
Canlubang finished with 573 points on rounds of 150, 143, 140, and 140 took the title of the tournament after failing in its bid last year.
Luisita settled for second place with 565 while Del Monte was third with 549.
The Interclub’s Platinum sponsors this year are Primax Broadcasting, RMN and Fox, while major sponsors are BusinessWorld Publishing, Rolls Royce, TV5, Philippine Standard.
Other sponsors include Boeing, Under Armour, Eton Properties and Asia Brewery.