No place like home as Cebu CC writes interclub history with overall championship
CEBU CITY—Playing with nothing to lose on a day when everything was on the line, Cebu Country Club earned its place among the immortal squads in the PAL Interclub with an authoritative final round performance over a tough-as-nails course it calls home.
Just when the entire Championship Division field was sputtering, Founders campaigner Cebu CC churned out sparkling rounds for a week-best 140 to duplicate a record established just once before—31 years ago—and pocket the overall title skipper Marco Sarmiento said was “sweeter” than the ones they won in 2012 and 2013.
“We beat a stronger field this time, because this Championship Division is really an open division,” he said, referring to their back-to-back feat earlier in the decade when caps on player’s handicaps were enforced. “Those [victories] were basically against fellow Founders teams.”
Sarmiento then revealed the secret to their final round domination: “We came out not thinking about it (place in history). We played without pressure and didn’t think of how the other [teams] are doing.”
“This one definitely stands out, obviously,” he said after his 33 counted as the fourth Cebu score. “This is a lot sweeter.”
Overall titles are awarded when teams from the lower divisions score higher than the ones in the Championship class.
Burly Bayani Garcia and Pio Neri fired even-par 72s worth 36 points each, and Mark Dy accounted for 35 as Cebu CC threw away a respectable 32 by Harvey Sytiongsa to tally 516 for the week and outscore by nine a Manila Southwoods crew that saw its “five-peat” bid hit a wall.
“They came here fully prepared,” Southwoods’ nonplaying skipper Thirdy Escano said even before the final group could hole out as he accepted his team’s fate. “That’s golf. You can’t win everything.”
Yuto Katsuragawa delivered as expected, shooting 38 points, but the rest of a final round lineup many saw as an explosive one couldn’t back up the prolific Japanese, as Southwoods closed out with 135 for 507.
Luisita finished third at 490 after a 129 over the exclusive, tree-lined layout even as the Cebu CC victory handed the Founders crown on a silver platter to Orchard Golf.
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