Japan ace tows Southwoods to first-round interclub lead
Yuto Katsuragawa provided the noise in an otherwise quiet day for Manila Southwoods, shooting an eagle-aided one-under-par 71 worth 37 points and towed the history-seeking side to a one-point lead over Tagaytay Highlands after the first round of the 72nd PAL Interclub in Cebu.
The reedy teen, a member of the Japan national squad, drilled a 5-iron from 200 yards to within five feet of the tiny 11th green of Cebu Country Club for an eagle 3 as the Carmona-based squad got its “five-peat” bid off on the right foot despite a measly 125 points.
“I can’t really say that I am disappointed,” non-playing captain Thirdy Escano said after watching Kristoffer Arevalo bogey the 18th for a 31. “I just hope that this (round) turns out to be our bad day for the week.”
Highlands was the surprise second placer after drawing 33s from Jolo Magcalayo and former tennis standout—and current Southwoods member—Marty Ilagan that made up for its 124, even as Del Monte was another two points back after Romeo Jaraula accounted for 36.
Luisita, seeking a rare sweep of both Senior and Men’s Regular titles, was seven points adrift after a 118, built around the 32 of Paolo Wong and the 31 of Don Petil.
Josh Jorge counted with a 29 and either 28 of Carl Corpus and the veteran Chepe Dulay completed scoring for Southwoods, which touched off the string of those four titles also in Cebu.
Jeric Hechanova, Escano’s counterpart at Luisita, remained upbeat of their chances despite falling behind big early.
“Our top gun, (many-time national champion Rupert Zaragosa), almost did not count today,” he said. “And yet, we’re just seven (points behind).”
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