IT WAS the most successful stint for Cebu clubs in the PAL Interclub in recent memory, and it’s not only because of Cebu Country Club’s historic victory.
Two other clubs, Mactan Island and Club Filipino, got a title in the Sportswriters and Aviator division, while Alta Vista Golf and Country Club finished second.
In all my years covering the Interclub, I can’t remember a time when all four teams from Cebu made it to the top two in their division. Sure, there were times when a couple of teams won, with one at third place. But this is rare--three winners and a second placer in the five men’s regular tournament division.
Club Filipino de Cebu won the Aviator title comfortably after posting 409 over four days, beating AVGCC by 16 shots.
Club Filipino had a strong start--112--in the first day and never relinquished the lead. Dominic Gotiong and Teodoro Almario had 29 each in the first day, Jovi Neri scored 28 and Raymond Garcia had 26.
Fernando Mondares took over in Day 2, scoring 31 to offset the pair of 18s by Baltair Balangauan and Nilo Seno, while Jofil Sato had 25. In the final round, it was Balangaun’s turn to shine as he scored 35 to lead the team’s 110.
Jovi Neri, who played for CCC during their Founders Division dominance and during their pair of Championship division titles, penned a touching tribute to his cousin Raymond, whom he said he looked up to when he was just starting with golf.
The two, together with Jovi’s nephew Pio and cousin Bayani (the burly Bayani per Inquirer), posed for a unique photo during the awarding, holding the two titles and calling it a “Team SunStar Cebu” photo. I held off using the caption because I can think of a better Team SunStar Cebu champions photo—a couple of men’s division titles and the media division title. And that will likely happen.
Meanwhile, AVGCC’s strong showing of 103-97 in the first two days allowed it to hold off Rancho Palos, which finished three strokes behind. AVGCC scored 101 in the last day to finish with 393, while Ranchos had 104.
For this year, AVGCC had Enrio Solon (27-17), Woochul Andrew Ahn (22), Marlo Cugtas (19, 22), Blako Go (23, 22) Taeyun Kong (26, 22), Thomas Ngo (26, 18), Jerry Uyheng (21, 23), Gabriel Yap (27, 27) Taejung Yun (24, 30) and Weiyu Gao (25, 29).
On the other hand, Mactan Island’s final day surge allowed the co-host to steal the thunder from Camp John Hay.
Trailing by four, 262-258 going into the final round, Mactan won the Sportswriters Division for the second straight year after finishing with 84 to beat Camp John Hay by three, 342-339.
Pio Barandog Jr. led the team with 28, while Elvis Jequinto had 22. Gerardo Catindoy scored 19 and Nicolas Parilla had 15. The other members of the team are Gerardo Jamorabo, Armand Guangko, Victor Radaza, Alfred Cavajar, Ed Benigay and Werner Elpedes.
Cavajar posted the best round for Mactan in the first day, scoring 36 points in their home course, but he only had 20 in the third round at CCC.