BACOLOD -- Canlubang unleashed a gem in 12-year-old boy Ruperto Zaragoza III to shoot 137 points Friday and turn a two-point deficit into a commanding 11-point advantage over closest rival The County Club (TCC) with only a round left in the 663rd Philippine Airlines (PAL) Men's event.
Zaragoza, only a sixth grader, fired 35 points, or one-over-par 71 in stroke play, to match Jessie Balasabas’ output at the par-70 Binitin course in Murcia as the Sugar Barons amassed a total of 403 points. Art Arbole scored 34 and Jhonnel Ababa had 33 to complete the scoring.
TCC, two points up after two rounds, fired 124—their lowest output in the tournament—to accumulate 392 and look headed for another disaster down the stretch.
The Country Club led after the first round when it debuted in the Interclub in Davao City last year but faltered in the succeeding rounds to allow Canlubang to register its fifth straight crown and 16th overall.
While Canlubang was having a fine day with Zaragoza and Balasabas leading the charge, TCC sputtered with only Zanie Boy Gialon turning in a superb round of 37 points, or one-under-par in stroke play.
Carl Santos-Ocampo added 34 but Edwin Madrelino could do no better than 28. The other score will be either that of Dante Beciera or Alexes Nallos' 25.