North golfers open 3-point lead over SouthBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE NORTH, starring the team of Miguel Tabuena and Carl Santos-Ocampo in the fourball, turned the tables on the highly fancied South squad yesterday and took a 5.5-2.5 lead after Day 1 of The Duel, the country’s version of the Ryder Cup, at posh Alabang Golf Club.
Tabuena and Santos-Ocampo got the North off to a fast start after scoring a 3 & 2 victory over Elmer Salvador and Antonio Lascuna.
Benjie Magada and Randy Garalde also scored, ripping Jonel Ababa and Rufino Bayron also via a 3 & 2 score as the North dominated the morning session with a 3.5-0.5 output.
“Definitely, this is a dream start for us,” North skipper Cookie La’O said. “Our plan was to get it close, what we got was otherwise.”
It was a disappointing day for the South, whose captain, Charles Hong, had said on Tuesday that they would want to open a wide gap after the first two days to make the singles matches on Friday practically meaningless.
Instead, the South now finds its back against the wall.
The strongest pair for the North, Angelo Que-Mars Pucay, scored a 1-up decision of Marvin Dumandan and Cassius Casas also in the fourball, where Gerald Rosales and Artemio Murakami, also of the North, fought back from a two-hole deficit in the final nine to salvage a draw with Ferdie Aunzo and Jay Bayron.
Que-Pucay notched a second win in the afternoon, turning back Salvador and Elmer Saban in the foursomes.
The three-day event is being organized by the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. and sponsored by Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers, FootJoy, Callaway, Titleist, Srixon and Sharp.