DESPITE several rules-triggered controversies, the Fil-Am Golf Invitational concludes its 68th edition today, expectedly on a high note.
In a tournament so massive like the Fil Am Invitational, backed this time by the Department of Tourism and perennial supporter San Miguel Corp., issues immensely borne out of interpretations of rules are a given.
But humbly enough, my fellow rulesman (referee) Jake P. Ayson and I have survived situations on rules disputes with flying colors through time—or we would not have stayed this long in the annual event.
There are a total of 247 teams entered this year in the two-week tournament, with about 1,200 players in attendance—maintaining its ranking as still the world’s biggest amateur golf tournament, participants-wise, as per the Guinness Book of Records.
Time flies as Jake and I will finish our umpteenth time as rulesmen in one of the country’s two most prestigious amateur golf events—the other being the PAL (Philippine Airlines) Interclub.
The PAL Interclub is the nation’s unofficial team golf championship, staging its 70th edition in February-March 2018 in Bacolod City.
But while the PAL Interclub uses a modified Stableford scoring system called the PAL points system, the Fil Am is strictly Stableford to mean a bogey is worth one point for both the Fil Am’s seniors and men’s regular plays.
In the PAL Interclub Seniors, however, scoring ends at double bogey worth one point.
For the record, I have never been a PAL Interclub rulesman unlike Jake. Jake retired from PAL’s Rules Committee some years back to become my regular partner at Fil Am.
OK, a bit more history?
Until his demise nearly 10 years ago, Taby Tabaniag was our Chief rulesman in the Fil-Am. Taby, a lawyer and a golf columnist, was the best of the best. Jake and I agree that much of our golf rules knowledge came from Taby.
Listen to Taby’s counsel to us: “Always take your time before you make a ruling. Establish all the facts and then, as much as possible, seek the opinion of your fellow rulesman before finally making a decision.”
All through the years, that had put Jake and I in good stead in the Fil Am Invitational, whose prestige has kept attracting applicants yearly from teams worldwide.
Again, thanks Taby.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on December 16, 2017.
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