March 18, 2018, 10:04 am
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Pradera golfers virtual champs

CEBU CITY. – Newcomer Pradera Verde Golf Club cooled off with a third-round 158 Thursday but still surged to an insurmountable 46-point lead to all but wrap up the crown in the 12th Philippine Airlines Ladies Interclub golf team championships at the Cebu Country Club Thursday.

Fil-Japanese Yuka Saso shot the day’s only sub-par round, a two-under par 70, to anchor the all-teen Lubao-based squad that scored 167 and 166 in the first two rounds that overwhelmed the opposition, including defending champion Manila Southwoods Masters, winner of the event the last six years.

Pradera will go into the final round Friday with a three-day total of 489, with Southwoods a far second at 443 and Cebu Country Club at 422.

Saso’s 70 was worth 56 points under the Molave scoring system, assuring the 18-year-old long hitter the individual title. She scored 59 points in the opening round. Nicole Abelar backed up Saso with 53 points while Michela Effendie rounded out scoring with 49.

Annyka Pineda Cayabyab, the youngest member of the team at 13, did not count with 48.

Pradera’s domination signaled a shift in the balance of power and the rise of the brat pack with one round left.

“This is good for the event and the sport in general,” said Southwoods coach Bong Lopez, whose team lost a number of key players who have turned professional.

Lopez also noted the rise of young golfers, saying: “Although we would have been happy winning our seventh title, this can only mean that we have to prepare hard for next year’s tournament. But it would probably take us three years to contend against Pradera.”

Southwoods collected 146 points with Sunshine Baraquiel pacing the team with 50 points. Other scorers were Loralie Roberto and Samantha Dizon with 48 points apiece. Samantha Bruce did not count with Samantha Bruce.

With Pradera virtually settling the issue in the championship division, attention now shifts to the battles in the three other divisions.

Manila Southwoods Legends seized the lead in the Founders division after scoring 130 points that boosted its total to 383, six points ahead of Alabang.

Maria Singson led Legends with 48 followed by Laurea Duque 44 and Yong Mi Kim 38.

Alabang posted 122 behind Jona Magcalayo 46, Finina Gorres 39 and Eun Sil Jang 37.

A far third was Negros Occidental Team A with 369 points after scoring 135 in the third round.

The battle in the Sportswriters division is expected to go down to the last putt.

Only three points separate defending champion Eagleridge, Sta. Elena and Camp Aguinaldo Team A going into the final round.

Eagle Ridge, riding on Soon Hak Jung’s 45 points, scored a division-best 120 points to seize the lead with 337, two points clear of Sta. Elena and three ahead of overnight leader Aguinaldo.

Sta. Elena also collected 45 points from Maria Therese Dabao to end the day with 115 points while Aguinaldo struggled with just 108 points.

In the Friendship class, Wack Wack retained a 24-point lead over Iloilo despite a measly 94 points.

Iloilo rallied with 104 points for 299 while Manila Golf took third spot with 283.

This year’s PAL Ladies Interclub sponsors are Primax Broadcasting Network, Mareco Broadcasting Network, Fox Sports, Travelife Magazine, People Asia, Asian Air Safari, Airbus, Travel Now Magazine/ TouchPay, Bombardier, PLDT and Mastercard.

Support also comes from TFC, Rustan’s Commercial Corporation, Asia Brewery Inc., Alaska Corporation, Eton Properties, Trinity Insurance and Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.
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