BACOLOD - The Country Club (TCC) banked on the superb performance of young gun Tonton Asistio to grab the lead from Canlubang after the second round of the 63rd Philippine Airlines (PAL) centerpiece Men’s play Thursday in Binitin.
The 20-year-old Asistio fired a stunning two-under-par 68 for 38 points, highlighting his round with an eagle on the second hole as TCC carded its second straight 134 and seized a two-point lead halfway through the tournament with 268.
The defending champion Canlubang, which took the lead in the first round after scoring 137, managed only 129 this time for a two-day total of 266.
Fil-Am Carl Santos Ocampo added 34 while Dante Beciera and Zanie Boy Gialon made 31 and 30, respectively, to complete the TCC scoring. Dino Villanueva did not count with his 29.
Jhonnel Ababa paced Canlubang with 35. Also scoring for the Sugar Barons were Joey Heurva (33), Art Arbole (31) and Jessie Balasabas (30). Ruperto Zaragoza's 23 did not count.
But the day belonged to Asistio, who is turning professional after the PAL tournament.
Asistio drove his ball to within 15 feet of the cup on the par-4 second hole and made the putt for an eagle 2. He also had four birdies to cushion his four bogeys in a spectacular round that drew praises from his teammates.
With Asistio’s marvelous effort, TCC transformed a three-point deficit into a two-point lead with only two rounds to go,
Now, Canlubang's bid for a fifth straight crown and 17th overall is now being threatened, although it is not yet a safe lead for TCC.
Just last week, Canlubang, which came here the heavy favorite to rule the fairways anew, absorbed a stunning defeat at the hands of Luisita for the Senior’s title.
The event is 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 and Business Mirror, Philippine Graphic, www.philstar.com, 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.
The 63rd PAL Interclub, with this year’s theme “Swinging High in Baoclod", opens this year’s sporting season for the national flag carrier that flies five times a day to the capital of Negros Occidental, just one of the country’s many golfing venue regularly served by PAL.