Cebu Country Club drew a pair of 50 points from Nonoy Tirol and rookie Eric Deen yesterday to emerge as the surprise leader at the start of the 33rd Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub golf team championships.
CCC collected 142 points at the Alta Vista Golf Club to open a three-point lead over defending champion Canlubang, Luisita and Del Monte, all tied with 138.
“We are ready to win,” declared Tirol who made three birdies against five bogeys and a double bogey.
Tirol said the entry of Deen, a three-handicapper, and Jufil Sato have added more depth to the team that won the Founders division last year in Bacolod.
Deen, a member of the CCC squad that won the regular PAL Interclub crown in 2012, had three birdies against seven bogeys, outplaying flight mate Tommy Manotoc.
“It was a privilege playing with Tommy who is one of the best amateurs. He has so much talent,” said Deen.
CCC’s third scorer was Korean Kim Kwang Seok who turned in 42 points. The 69-year-old Manotoc, returning for Canlubang after an absence of two years, started with three straight double bogeys before playing the rest of the round at two-over.
He buried a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole to salvage 46 points, his worst score ever at the Interclub. Two other teammates – Rolly Viray and Zaldy Villa – also scored 46. Mari Hechanova made the turn at eight-over and did not count with 44 points.
Sixteen-time champion Luisita also struggled, typified by Eddie Bagtas’ 48 points that was marred by five three-putts. Also scoring for Luisita were Rafael Raymundo and Luis Laureta who each had 45 points. “We played badly.
We wasted a lot of strokes. Hopefully, we get to play better tomorrow,” said Luisita non-playing captain Jeric Hechanova. Del Monte made it a four-horse race behind Raul Minoza’s day-best 51 points. Minoza, who used his driver four times, stayed away from trouble with one birdie against four bogeys. Virgilio Adag and Arsenio Mondilla counted for Del Monte with 45 and 42, respectively.
In other divisions, Eagle Ridge amassed 142 points to surge ahead in the Founders, Team Corral Ocean Point took the Aviator lead with 123, Lanang led Sportswriter with 111 points at the Club Filipino de Cebu while Winners Circle Golf Club of LAX paced Friendship with 109 at Alta Vista.*
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