CEBU CITY—Clifford Celdran, a Cebuano playing for Pueblo de Oro, cracked par with a 1-under 71 worth 55 points yesterday as the Cagayan de Oro club swept on top and relegated the Canlubang-Luisita rivalry in the background at the start of Seniors play in the 66th PAL Interclub golf tournament.
The 65-year-old former manager of Cebu Country Club produced the day’s low score at Alta Vista with three birdies against two bogeys as Pueblo surged ahead by six points over Luisita with a 153 total.
Celdran, once among the country’s top amateurs, outshone Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia who matched par 72 for 54 points, sparking Luisita’s 147 output that stood as the day’s best until the Pueblo bets came in just before dusk.
Defending champion Canlubang, missing top gun Tommy Manotoc who decided to deal with unstable blood pressure, was third at 145 with Mari Hechanova chalking up 50 points, Rolly Viray 49 and Rene Unson 46.
Victor Yuvallos backed up Celdran, now a Pueblo consultant, with 52 and Ed Yap contributed 46 under the four-to-play, three-to-score format in this event for players 55 years and older.
The 67-year-old Garcia had a weird round of four birdies that included two monstrous putts on the 10th and 17th holes against four bogeys as he took advantage of a secret practice on the Alta Vista course a week before the tournament started.
Francis Gaston supported him with a 47 and Seve Roxas-Chua counted last with a 46 for Luisita, the 2010 champion bidding to wipe out the memory of last year’s collapse when it lost by three to Canlubang after leading in the first three rounds in Davao.
Manila Golf, the defending Founders Division champion, actually posted the third best output of 146 as Bryan Cockrell scored 52 points to lift the exclusive club inside Forbes Park in Makati to a one-point lead over Redhawk, a team from Los Angeles.
Fausto Preysler Jr. had a 49 and one of the 45 of Konkoy Tuason and Arsenic Laurel counted for MGC, a one-point winner last year over Apo.
Cebu Country Club managed only 141 for fifth, behind the 142 of Alta Vista, but Cebu spearhead Montito Garcia said the championship will be decided at Club Filipino de Cebu in Danao, where the top two divisions are set to play today and tomorrow.
Showing the way in the Sportswriters division was Team Coral Ocean with 120. San Juanico (118), Lanang (115) and SSO Crystal Spring (114) are the other contenders.
Championship—Pueblo de Oro 153; Luisita 147; Canlubang 145; Kingfisher 120; Mabuhay LAS 108; Bay City 103; Brookside 103; Filcansa 102;Austral Asian 101;Cotabato 98; Founders—Manila Golf 146; Redhawk 145; Alta Vista 142, Cebu 141; Eagle Ridge, Valley 136; Orchard 135; Riviera 132; Camp Evangelista, Del Monte 128; Apo 127; Wack Wack 126; Mactan Island , Negros 125; Villamor 123; Palos Verdes 121; PGA BC 120; Southwoods 119; Maharlika, Chamorro 114; Friendship—Brotherhood Sharp 95; Pittsburg 93; Fil Am SFO 92; 4. Skywest 84; Moffet Fields, Siena Plantation 82; Mt. Malindang
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