Cebu—Not minding the enormity of what was at stake, Cebu Country Club yesterday completed its date with PAL Interclub history, winning the overall championship coming from a lower division by turning back powerhouse Manila Southwoods.
Burly Bayani Garcia and Pio Neri fired level-par 72s worth 36 points each and Mark Dy accounted for 35 in leading a balanced final day assault on a Cebu Country Club course they call home as the Founders Division favorite steamrolled its way to a crown to remember with a nine-point victory over Southwoods.
“This is definitely unexpected,” skipper Marco Sarmiento, whose 33 was the last score to count, said before joining his teammates in a wild celebration. “We talked about how to attack (the final day) and that was to play with that (history) not in our minds.
“And I guess it worked,” he said as Cebu CC tallied 516 counting 252 points churned out at tight Mactan Island Golf in the middle two rounds and an opening 124.
This marks just the second time that a team from a lower division won the overall title, as Cebu CC duplicated a 1988 feat by an Aguinaldo team made up of future international luminaries like Ramon Brobio and swing coach Bong Lopez.
Southwoods got 38 points from Yuto Katsuragawa but couldn’t get the others to deliver the numbers non-playing skipper Thirdy Escano expected, settling for second and blowing their own bid to win the tournament a fifth straight time, a record solely held by Canlubang.
Chepe Dulay scored 34 points, Carl Corpuz added 32 and either 31 of Josh Jorge and former junior world champion Kristoffer Arevalo counted for Southwoods’ closing 135 and 507 overall, 17 points ahead of Luisita.
The Luisitans got 34 points from Paolo Wong and 32 from Don Petil to make up the bulk of a closing 126, with Del Monte shooting a 119 after 36 points from Romeo Jaraula.
The Cebu CC victory also gift-wrapped for Orchard Golf Club the Founders Division crown with the Dasmarinas-based squad tallying 482 after a fourth round 129 for a 24-point win over Forest Hills.
Zachary Castro scored 35 and Gabriel Macalaguim 34 to lead Orchard, which also drew 32 from Francis Lanuza and 28 from Jong Goo-kim.
Former US NCAA standout Jude Eustaquio fired 36 points and Inigo Raymundo accounted for 31 to lead Forest Hills.
This year’s Interclub is sponsored by Radio Mindanao Network, Asian Air Safari, and Vanguard Radio Network. Also extending support are ABS-CBN Global Ltd. (The Filipino Channel), Rolls Royce, Primax Broadcasting Network, UM Broadcasting Network (Mindanao), Fox Sports, Cignal TV, GECAS, Boeing, Lufthansa Technik AG, Manila Standard, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Dusit Thani Manila, and Casino Filipino. Official hotel is Quest Hotel Conference Center Cebu.
Day 4 partial scores:
CHAMPIONSHIP—Manila Southwoods 507 (125-116-131-135), Luisita 490 (118-114-132-126), Del Monte 479 (122-121-117-119), Tagaytay Highlands 464 (124-109-104-127)
FOUNDERS—Cebu Country Club 516 (124-121-131-140), The Orchard 482 (121-110-122-129), Forest Hills 458 (110-113-117-118), Valley Golf CC 439 (108-117-111-103), Apo Golf 429 (101-117-95-116), Riviera 427 (112-115-104-96), Negros occidental 419 (106-91-113-109), Sherwood Hills 390 (101-105-95-89), Southern California Redhawks 376 (93-100-88-95), FilAm Golf Tour 1 368 (87-84-99-98), Par 2000 312 (58-93-67-94)