Despite sputtering ace, Southwoods zooms ahead by 12 in PAL Interclub
BACOLOD CITY—Yuto Katsuragawa never got going, but it hardly mattered for “four-peat” seeking Manila Southwoods.
Even with its best player sputtering at the finish and failing to count on Thursday, Southwoods still went on to clobber the PAL Interclub’s Championship Division field in the opening skirmish at Marapara here to take a 12-point lead and get its quest for history rolling in the right direction.
Japanese Taisei Shimizu stepped up with an eagle-aided two-under-par 68 worth 38 points, and Chepe Dulay also cracked par with 37 as Southwoods tallied 140 before finding a surprise pursuer in Luisita as Canlubang, listed as the biggest threat in all pre-tournament rankings, hobbled all day.
Veteran Jun Jun Plana was steady all round and accounted for 34, with the 31 of Jama Reyes counting as the last score for the Carmona-based squad after Katsuragawa closed out with five straight bogeys for a 30.
“I am sure he will give me an under-par card when he plays again,” said Southwoods’
nonplaying captain Thirdy Escano of Katsuragawa, whom he hinted he will field in the final round on Sunday, also over the Golem Silverio-designed gem.
“That’s golf. You never know what can happen. He was playing so well when seemingly nothing went his way again.”
Leandro Luis Bagtas matched par for 36 points and led Luisita in making everyone’s head turn by pooling 128 to be in second, nine points ahead of the Sugar Barons, whose own spearhead, Rupert Zaragosa, dealt with his own struggles in a humid day.
Dan Cruz and Rodel Mangulabnan fired 31s and Don Petil accounted for 30 for Luisita, the Senior’s division runner-up, which discarded the 22 of Josh Jorge.
Zaragosa, a winner of several national titles, had two birdies, seven bogeys and a pick up on No. 3 for a 77 and 29 points, which highlighted Cangolf’s sorry opening round.
Canlubang, which last won this event in 2010, was led by the 31 of Lester Lagman, with Gido Mandanas assembling 30 and Carlo Villaroman also scoring 29 for 119. The 27 of Marco Olives was thrown out.
Southwoods still has a firepower-laden five standing by for the second round at Binitin in Murcia town on Friday, although Escano hinted that he might opt for one first round player seeing action for the second straight day to keep Tom Kim fresh for the final two rounds.
Kim is the defending individual champion and will only get the chance to win that title again if he plays both courses.
The second and third rounds are scheduled at Binitin.
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