CANLUBANG fired 137 points to move ahead by three over rival The Country Club in the championship division after the opening round of the 63rd Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub regular men’s tournament at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club.

Albin Engino, the hometown hero in Canlubang’s lineup, came away with an impressive 37 points, an equivalent to a one-under-par 69 at Negros Occidental’s par-70 Marapara course which stretches only close to a 6,200 yards.

Canlubang, which is seeking its fifth straight title and 17th overall, also got 36 from Mhark Fernando and a pair of 32s from Paul Echavez and junior golfer Jobim Carlos for that 137.

Abe Rosal’s 29 was eliminated from the team’s day output.

Engino was the biggest contributor for Canlubang.

He was three-under in nine holes only to falter with a two-over after the turn. Still, he led the defending champ with the day’s best marker.

“Albin and Mhark dished out strong performances. We gained five points from them because the top guns of TCC were off-form today,” Manotoc said.

The Country Club was paced by the 35 points of Juan Raul Tanpinco, the Bacolod native who used a variety of skill shots to counter the various conditions of Marapara including the wind and hard-to-read greens.

Tanpinco made a 24-foot birdie putt on No. 17 but gave up two points with birdies on No. 2, where he three-putted, and No. 8 where he missed the green in regulation.

Rufino Bayron and Peter Villaber, former members of the national team pool, churned out 34 each although both scores were lower than what coach Bong Lopez would have wanted. Rookie Alexes Nallos managed a 31 to add to TCC’s 133.

Bayron came up with four birdies but he gave up too many holes at Marapara with five bogeys while Villaber had two bogeys from afar at Nos. 1 and 18 to offset his bogeys on the second and sixth and an pick-up on the 11th.

“Right, I’m okay because we are just down by three. Anything less than seven is still a manageable deficit. JR (Tanpinco) somewhat softened the impact of Bayron’s and Villaber’s opening scores,” said Lopez.

In the Friendship division, Fil-Am Hawaii shot 103 points to open up a six-point advantage against Bay Area and seven ahead from Davao.

The competition in the premiere division moves today at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club’s Binitin course, another tough par-70 host venue of the 63rd PAL Interclub presented by platinum sponsors Airbus, Boeing, 105.1 Crossover and Radio Mindanao Network.

Major sponsors are Action Asia, GE Aviation, MTV Philippines, People Asia and Royal Caribbean. The corporate backers are Business Mirror, Philippine Graphic,, Sabre Airline Solutions/Sabre Travel Network and Resort World Manila. Century Park Hotel, DWWW 774 AM, Panay News, Master Card and Thales Aerospace are minor patrons.

PAL Interclub Men’s Scores (Day 1):

Championship -- Canlubang 137, TCC 134, Alabang 107, EZ Par 93, Mt. Malarayat 85, Green Tee 77, Sherwood Hills 75, Moffet Fields 73, Victorias 65, Camp Evangelista 63, South Cotabato 61, San Diego 52, Mabuhay Golf 52, Brookside 46, Pinoy Vancouver 43

Friendship – Fil-am Hawaii 103, Bay Area 97, Davao 92, Bacolod GCC 90, FGA1 Riyahd 87, San Juanico 83, Mt. Malindang 83, UP Tee Jots 77, Lumbia 75, Lanang 75, Brotherhood 67, Fil-am Florida 67, Maharlika 66, Pittsburg 65, Skywest 61, Cotabato 60, Austral-Asian 54, Mabuhay SFO 50, SFO Crystal Springs 50, Samahan 34.