THE twin tournaments of golf held yearly by the Philippine Airlines will adopt the new rules of the sport, making the event abreast with the times.
Seniors play, now of its 33rd year, will start on February 27 in Cebu followed by the Men’s Regular on March 6.
The battle for supremacy will be tight and nerve-wracking in both divisions as the four venues for the tournaments are famous for their demanding terrain.
Thus, Canlubang will be hard-pressed to retain its Seniors crown it won last year in Bacolod over defending champion Luisita as play at the rolling, mountainous Alta Vista is a test of will and courage.
Club Filipino de Cebu in Danao will also subject our seniors to more challenges as this course is known for its ruggedness and uncut contours of a rural setting.
To reclaim the crown last year, Canlubang rallied mightily for a winning total of 573 and beat a stunned Luisita by eight, with Del Monte finishing third with 549 points.
The Founders champion last year was Cebu Country Club, Alta Vista in Aviator, Rancho Palos Verdes in Sportswriters and South Bay of Los Angeles, California, in Friendship.
Unlike in the Men’s regular where par is worth only two points, a par in Seniors play is worth three points.
The Seniors’ three-day practice rounds start Feb. 24.
Each senior team can field four players, with the top three scores counting. A player can only play two rounds.
But in Men’s play, five players can play in a team, with the top four scores counting. Each player is also limited to only two rounds at Cebu Country Club and Mactan Island.
Manila Southwoods is tipped to dominate the Men’s regular anew after it posted a record 551 points in Bacolod to defeat Luisita by a record 41 points. Canlubang was third and Del Monte fourth.
PAL president Jaime J. Bautista will hit the ceremonial tee shot as usual in this 72nd edition of the nation’s premiere team golf championship.
One of the new rules is allowing a player to putt with the flagstick unattended. Interesting.
Happy Valentine’s Day!