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Middle two rounds hold key to Interclub’s Men’s centerpiece title

CAGAYAN DE ORO–The Regular Men’s title chase that starts Friday seems to favor Manila Southwoods on paper, what with its ultra-stacked lineup built around three pro-bound talents.

But with the skirmishes slated to be held in two distinctly contrasting courses at well-manicured Pueblo de Oro here and tree-lined Del Monte in Bukidnon, the playing field, it seems, has been leveled dramatically.

“We will definitely use that to our advantage,” Del Monte playing captain Yoyong Velez said when asked of how course familiarity will be a factor as the squad sets out for a sweep after it ruled the Seniors division with impeccable ease last week.

“We will definitely shoot for a sweep. We are confident that we have a solid shot,” he said.

Del Monte roared out of the gates in the first day of Seniors action by taking a six-point lead at Pueblo de Oro, before it turned up the heat when play shifted to its stomping ground in the next two rounds. The Bukidnon squad opened up an 18-point lead after three days to practically wrap up its breakthrough centerpiece division title.

And being able to do what Del Monte did in the Seniors division is how Eastridge standout Gary Sales sees it, as the squad shoots for its first Championship division title and an upset that would unseat Southwoods.

“The first day (at Pueblo) will be crucial,” Sales said in Filipino before playing a practice round Wednesday. “Because the rounds at Del Monte will pretty much be about staying close to par as we possibly can. A big lead (after the first round) will definitely help any team.”

The majestic Del Monte layout is as tricky as it can get, as bounces on the fairways are unpredictable at this time of year, with the greens solvable to only those who have played it time and time again.

“That’s what the boys are here to find out in the next two days,” Southwoods team official Jerome Delariarte said, as his souped-up crew led by Aidric Chan, Lanz Uy and Ryan Monsalve sampled the layout Wednesday. “We know how difficult that course is and in all likelihood, that’s where the tournament will be decided.”

Eastridge, meanwhile, is looking to better a runner-up finish in Cebu last season, its best yet, before the squad went on an extensive preparation to win what is regarded as the country’s unofficial team golf championship.

The 75th staging of the PAL Interclub is supported by diamond sponsors Mastercard and Asian Journal.

Platinum sponsors include Airbus, Primax Broadcasting Network and Araw Hospitality while gold sponsors are Tanduay and Asia Brewery.

Joining the event as silver sponsors are ABS-CBN Global, Radio Mindanao Network and Philippine National Bank.

VISA is a minor sponsor while Must Glow is joining as a donor.



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