CEBU CITY—Defending champion Canlubang, underscoring its reputation as a last-round toughie, prevailed over perennial rival Luisita in a head-to-head duel at the back nine yesterday and clinched by six points its seventh title in the last eight years of Seniors play in the 66th PAL Interclub golf tournament here.
Their overnight three-point lead wiped out after the front nine, the Sugar Barons, starring Rolly Viray and Dave Hernandez, outplayed their respective Luisita foes in the last nine holes to finish with identical 51 points that boosted Canlubang to a day-high 148 and a total of 568.
Luisita, which prevented what would have been an eight-year winning Canlubang run by topping the 2010 edition, wound up with 145 for the day and a 562 aggregate as Minieng Maravilla also came up with 51 points at the Alta Vista course.
Philippine Sports Commission chair and Luisita star Richie Garcia managed to beat Canlubang team manager Luigi Yulo by one with 47 points—the same output of teammate Bong Sison, who lost to Viray by four in a pairing that decisively settled the title race in this event for players 55 years and above.
“If there’s a will, there’s a way,” said Yulo, adding the Sugar Barons won because “we just played better than Luisita when we had to.”
Canlubang skipper Tony Olives said the absence of perennial top scorer Tommy Manotoc, who is indisposed this time, forced his teammates to raise the level of their game.
“We miss him but the players were determined to play well,” he added.
Pueblo de Oro, the unlikely leader the first two rounds, achieved its original target of third place at 531 while producing the tournament’s 36-hole individual champion in Clifford Celdran, who nipped Cebu’s Montito Garcia for top honors with a 55-45—100 effort.
This year’s PAL Interclub is sponsored by 105.1 Crossover, Solar Sports, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, 92.3 FM Radyo 5, Araneta Coliseum and AXN. Major sponsors are Airbus, Manila Broadcasting Corporation, Philippine Broadcasting Network, People Asia, Radio Mindanao Network, Business Mirror and ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC).
CHAMPIONSHIP—Canlubang 568 (145-135-140-148); Luisita 562 (147-135-135-145); Pueblo 531 (153-132-116-130); YVR BC 444 (112-99-108-125); Forest Hills 437 (123-105-101-108); Victorias 429 (97-98-110-124;) Filcansa 426 (102-116-104-104); Team Kingfisher 423 (120-115-105-83); Fil-Am Fairfield 421 (119-123-94-85); Cotabato 412 (98-108-103-103
FOUNDERS—Cebu 555 (141-141-131-142); Alta Vista 550 (142-136-130-142); Valley Golf 538 (136-132-128-142); Manila Golf 526 (146-127-118-135); Eagle Ridge 521 (136-132-125-128); Wack Wack 514 (126-137-121-130); Mactan Island 512 (124-127-135-126); Orchard 507 (135-122-119-131); Riviera 503 (132-128-114-129
SPORTSWRITERS—Texas 460 (104-130-112-114); SFO Crystal Springs 456 (114-120-115-107); Veterans 453 (108-115-119-111); Club Intramuros 450 (111-110-126-103); Lanang 448 (115-109-119-105); Fil-Am Florida 443 (106-120-127-90); Saranggani 441 (112-109-113-107)
FRIENDSHIP—Sharp Brotherhood 392 (95-103-104-90); Fil-Am SFO 397 (92-95-105-85); Sienna 375 (82-99-103-91); Mt. Malindang 349 (80-99-82-88); SFO Alliance 342 (69-99-94-80); Leyte 335 (75-93-79-88