CEBU CITY—Cebu Country Club will gun for a first in its long Philippine Airlines Interclub participation starting tomorrow, but the host bets would probably need to do it a little farther away from home.
Mactan Island Golf Club, a par-72 layout operated by military men here, could prove to be the turning point of the Men’s Regular event’s Championship Division, and that being within the city, even the CCC bets cannot claim familiarity over it.
Cebu CC will shoot to repeat as champion for the first time starting tomorrow, but even the Cebuanos could find Mactan Island Golf a tough nut to crack.
“We believe that the turning point would be Mactan,” Cebu CC general manager Jeric Hechanova said. “No one really knows that course which means that anything can happen there.”
Cebu CC will be the site of the second and final rounds, but a great start and a steady third round could prove to be keys for any team in the field with Alabang and Del Monte tipped to crowd the Cebuanos for the title.
Both Cebu CC and Mactan are par-72 courses, but they differ in character with CCC having softer fairways and faster greens and Mactan having slow putting surfaces which could befuddle the field that is used to putting over sleek surfaces.
Cebu CC won the title last year at the expense of the Bukidnon-based bets at the Apo Golf and Rancho Palos Verdes courses in Davao.
It will gun to join the roster of repeat winners without one of the steadiest talents that got them to the title last year, Gio Gandiongco, who had to beg off because of a scholarship in the United States.
Lloyd Jefferson Go, a former club champion at Cebu CC, will banner the squad together with former pro Carl Almario even as Del Monte will be made up of the products of its ex-caddies program.
Del Monte was the champion two years ago when it triumphed in home soil and at the Pueblo de Oro course in Cagayan de Oro.
For the second straight year, Canlubang, the winningest side in the Interclub, will not be playing in the Championship Division. Its senior squad won the 55-and-over crown on Sunday with a strong final day performance at well-manicured Alta Vista.
Unlike in previous Interclubs that used to utilize just two courses for both divisions, the event’s return to Cebu in more than a decade had organizers taking action to four courses. Club Filipino de Cebu was the other Senior division layout.
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). Corporate sponsors include Radisson Blu Hotel, Shangri-La Resort & Spa, Boeing, Inquirer Golf Magazine, Philippines Graphic and Manila Bulletin.