By NIMROD NL QUINONES
While the spotlight shines on the battle between Luisita and Canlubang in the premiere Championship division, host Mimosa showed it visitors what home course advantage means in the second-ranked Founders class of the 30th Philippine Airlines Senior Interclub in Clark, Angeles City.
Cebu Country Club is tied for second in the Founders division while Alta Vista Golf and Country Club runs sixth in the class.
Mimosa fired a total of 151 points on the first day of the tournament, Thursday, in the four-to-play, three-to-count format using the Molave Points System. The hosts had Wolfgang Simandal (52), Lee Dong Koo (51) and Park Chanwoo (48) counting for the team total. The 42 of Romeo Celestino did not count.
Cebu Country Club and Pueblo de Oro of Cagayan de Oro City are tied for the second spot with 133 points apiece.
Koichi Horii led the Cebu team with 47 points while Dr. Lor Alaan had 45 and Masatsugu Ochiai had 41. The 40 points of Kim Kwang Seok did not count.
Pueblo de Oro was led by Jeun Yang with 46 aand also counting were Cebuano Clifford Celdran (45) and Michael Lu (42).
At fourth is Manila Golf with 131 followed by Orchard with 129.
Alta Vista is at solo sixth with 126 points. Skipper Roy Damole led the team with 45 points while Masahisa Kawakami added 43 and Victor Gocela had 38. Agapito Suan, Jr. made 26, which did not count.
Damole told www.fullpointcebu.com that for the second round, there will be a minor change in the squad. Wendell Yap, who debuted as a senior last year, will be seeing action for the first time while Damole, Gocela and Suan will play their second round.
A team can field a maximum of four players and a minimum of three players per round and no player can play more than two rounds during the four-day event.
In the premiere class, Luisita got a big boost from rookies Jingy Tuason and Chito Laureta to go eight point up against defending champion Canlubang.
Luisita had 146 points behind the 51 points of the long-hitting Tuason. Laureta added 50 while last to count was Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Richie Garcia with 45 and the 43 of Pepot Inigo did not count.
Jeric Hechanova, general manager and non-playing captain of Luisita, said they are happy to be leading, “but there are three more rounds left.”
Canlubang, which won the title by a margin of 17 points over Luisita in Cebu last year, had an opening round of 138 points. It would have been 140, but a two-point penalty was slapped on Abe Avena, who nailed a long putt for par on the 3rd hole, but his caddie was behind him holding an umbrella, which resulted to a penalty.
Despite that mishap, Avena still led the team with 47 points. Also counting for the team total were David Hernandez 46, and Mari Hechanova 45. Tony Oives had 43, which did not count.
The tournamen is sponsored by People Asia, Travelife, Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), Manila Broadcasting Corporation, Airbus, Business Mirror and Philippine National Bank.
Other supporters are Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer.net, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, Tanduay Distillers, Asia Brewery, Splash Corporation, RFM Corporation, Goldilocks, Eastgate Publishing Corporation, Robinsons Land and Rolls-Royce.
In the newly-added third-ranked Aviator division, Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club leads the field with 130 points followed by Eagle Ridge with 128 and tied for third are Manila Southwoods and Riviera with 121 each.
In the Sportswriters Division, Del Monte of Bukidnon leads with 127 points followed by Club 1872 Los Angeles with 117 and Iloilo with 116.
In the fifth-ranked Friendship category, South Cotabato leads with 114 followed by Mt. Malindang of Ozamis with 113.