Damasus Wong played the second nine in regulation to lead Canlubang to a slim four-point lead over Luisita at the start of the 32nd Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub golf team championships yesterday.
Three-over at the turn, the 55-year-old businessman made one birdie against a lone bogey and parred the rest of the closing holes to finish with the day’s best 51 points at the demanding Marapara course in Bacolod City.
With brothers Abe and Pem Rosal adding 50 and 49 points, respectively, Canlubang totalled 150 points, 26 points better than its opening round at Mt. Apo in Davao last year.
Zaldy Villa did not count with 48.
“Last year was a fluke,” said Canlubang non-playing captain Tony Olives, referring to its worst ever score of 124. “We made sure it won’t happen again.”
Wong atoned for his mediocre debut at Apo last year by doing a good job around the greens.
“I didn’t hit too many fairways, but managed to save a lot of pars,” said Wong.
That 51 was eight points better than what Wong scored last year in the first round.
Abe Rosal, last year’s individual champion, was his usual reliable self, edging younger brother Pem by a point.
“He (Abe) always beats me like a drum,” said Pem, a physician based in Delaware State. “Abe called me last year and asked me if I can play for Canlubang. Of course, I replied.”
Away from the country for nearly 30 years, Pem said he was shocked the first time he played Marapara.
“The wind was nothing like in the States. The course is also too tight and narrow. In fact, I didn’t break 90 during practice,” he said.
Pem paid tribute to Canlubang pro Jun Bernis who carried his bag. “He was a big help,” he said.
Luisita opened with 146 points – a good score as far as non-playing skipper Jeric Hechanova is concerned.
“We’re happy with the score. My hat off to Canlubang for that very good score,” said Hechanova.
Edmund Yee shot 50 points and Rodel Mangulabnan added 49. The 47 of either Jingy Tuason or Chino Raymundo counted.*
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