MANILA Southwoods try to move closer to the top podium when games resume today in the premiere Fil Championship flight at the Baguio Country Club course in the 68th Department of Tourism Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament.
The real battle begins in the championship flight summed the youngest Manila Southwoods player Joo Hyung Kim who at 15 shot 39 on day two and helped the team to an eye popping 11-under for 155 and 301 total for a four point lead on first round leader Forest Hills.
Forget John Hay, the 15-year old said who played for Luisita in 2015 when he was 13 years old, “it was just really the beginning to get the momentum as we go to BCC,” he said.
“It will be tough. BCC is one tough course and we all know that. This is where the battle will take place,” he added.
Veteran Junjun Plana knows too well the long history of Southwoods which he joined in 1997 after The John Sobrepena-led group started the development of Camp John Hay. In 2007, down by 16 points after two rounds at CJH, Southwoods came back to wrest the title from an expectant Calatagn.
Plana was in the company of Cookie Lao, Jerome Delariarte and Angelo Que, who pumped his office after teeing out at BCC’s 18th hole and after Tommy Manotoc raised his hand in jubilation knowing that his team that included Juvic Pagunsan has won the Fil-Am.
It was not so as Southwoods completed the miraculous comeback, probably the greatest in Fil-Am history in the past 23 years.
“The boys really played well,” said a proud Delariarte, the team’s non-playing captain of the very young team with the exception of Plana are all in their teens. “Lolo na,” once said Plana who in the 80s was one of the young top acts in amateur golf.
Day two saw Southwoods in a stampede and churned in an eye popping 11 under for 155 points.
Benguet pride Luigi Paolo Wong led the team’s outburst with his second four under worth 40 points.
The 16-year old quit formal schooling to concentrate on his golf that saw him join the national team which played in the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Southeast Asian Game.
“Home schooling na lang po,” added Wong who made five birdies and a single bogey on day two in a course he is so familiar with. BCC is also another home for this local pride, the first local to make it to the Fil Championship flight since Mars Pucay in the late 80s and early 90s.
The former shag boy Pucay played against the bests of his generation like Tony Lascuna and Richard Sinfuego who helped win for Canlubang its last title in 1994.
Meanwhile, Batangas Barakos slowed down at the BCC course where they shot a measly 97 points for a three-day total of 367 for a 27 point lead in Fil A.
The Barakos, who had a scoring splurge on day two with a two under and one under sores, submitted 97 points for a 367 total and tow Team Surigao I (99=340) and San Miguel which shot the flight best 107 for 337 total.
In Am A, Royal Northwoods made 115 points for 316 to break the tie with Tiyo Paeng which scored 112 and 313 total. Another three shot down is Alaska Royalink which shot a flight best 119 and 310 total.
Baguio’s Team II earned additional points to widen its lead to 20 in Fil D.
Uragun Golf B assumed second spot after a 78 and 255 total, four off Pacific Rim which fired 73 points.
Team Surigao made 89 for 271 and a virtual champion in Am D as their lead ballooned to 36 points.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on December 15, 2017.
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