BACOLOD CITY. — Defending champion Luisita and rival Canlubang were tied for the lead after the first round of the 34th Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub golf team championships Wednesday.
Both teams struggled on the putting surface with nobody breaking the 50-point barrier at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club (NOGCC) course.
Eddie Bagtas led Luisita with 48 points, his round marred by four closing bogeys, including a botched tap-in in the final hole.
“I lost my temper,” conceded Bagtas who was backed by Jingy Tuason’s 46 and Demetrio Saclot’s 45.
An even-par card is worth 54 points under the Molave scoring system.
Luisita captain Jeric Hechanova was relieved of the result considering his team’s struggles on the greens.
Canlubang had a chance to seize the lead in the final foursome, but Tommy Manotoc three-putted the ninth, the Sweeties’ final hole, to settle for 46 points.
“It was a bad putt,” rued Manotoc who rallied coming home after making the turn at 7-over par.
Abe Avena led Canlubang with 48 points while Damasus Wong added 45.
Not counted in the scoring for their respective teams were Zaldy Villa of Canlubang with 44 and Chino Raymundo of Luisita with 38.
NOGCC was four shots behind the co-leaders while Cebu Country Club, the other team in the championship division, wound up with 125 points.
Scoring for Negros were Edwin Ordonez (49), Francis Gaston (43) and Chito Garcia (43).
Del Monte Golf Club loomed as a potential challenger after posting 134 points in the Founders division.
Ramon Velez shot the day’s best round – 51 points, but failed to get solid support from his teammates – Erning Apas (44) and Romeo Bautista (39).
Del Monte opened a four-point lead over Eagle Ridge with the Orchard taking third spot with 124.
In other divisions, Club Filipino de Cebu paced Aviator with 118, Van City led Sportswriters with 120 while Lumbia was on top with 94 in the Friendship class.
Hosted by Philippine Airlines, the international event has as platinum sponsors: Asian Air Safari, Vanguard Radio Network, Fox Networks Group, Radio Mindanao Network, Inc., Asian Journal Publications Philippines, Inc., Auto Nation Group, Inc. (Mercedes Benz), and SMDC.