Halfway into the tournament and new leaders arose in both the Senior Fil and Am Championship flights of the 72nd Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament at the Camp John Hay and Baguio Country Club fairways, respectively. Manila Southwoods came charging back like a bull and assembled the best score so far in the three day old tournament to wrest the lead back from Luisita Golf and Country Club at the CJH course. This as the mighty came tumbling down, the Alpha Phi Omega Golfers – Team Alpha took the opportunity to assume command of the Seniors Am side. Junjun Plana, who started out in 1997 for the Carmona, Cavite based squad wove his magic anew as he fired a blistering two under par 67 that is good for 38 points and power Southwoods to 127 points for 248 and a five point lead on overnight leader Luisita. Plana had four birdies on an almost perfect golfing that was marred by a pick up on the par seventh hole for the best score so far in the tournament. Solid performances from Raul Minoza (32), Manfred Guangko (30) and Jose Roy III (29) paved the way for Southwoods to wrest the lead from their new rival going to the shorter and trickier BCC course.
Luisita submitted 120 points on the 33 of Benjamin Sumulong, 31 of Martin Ilagan, 29 and 27 from Danilo Cruz and Rafael Raymundo, respectively. Mamala Bay, meanwhile, improved to third spot from fourth after making 118 for 224, overtaking Riviera Golf after the latter’s 111 for a 222 two day aggregate. At the BCC course, tied for third at the start of the second day with 85, APO was just too decisive scoring a flight best 96 for 181 points and a 12 point lead in the flight which will take a break Tuesday before resuming for the last two rounds at the longer and relatively easier Camp John Hay course Wednesday and Thursday. Demterio Saclot led the charge of the fraternity with 30 points, Reynaldo Talatala and Querubin Alcantara chipped in 24 and 23, respectively, while former senatorial candidate Raul Lambino submitted a 19 to count for the team which now leads Srixon IMG by 12 after starting the day tied at third at 85. Srixon assembled 84 points for its 169 and two up on defending champion Manila Southwoods 2 which came out with 80 after an opening round of 87 for 167. Dugong Bughaw is one shot off Southwoods after submitting the second best score of 86 for 166, while day one leader Megafiber, a former stumbled with 76 for 164 and the tail in the five team flight.
“It’s tough, we are 14 down. I just hope we can at least reduce it on the third day, if not…” trailed off Southwoods team captain Thirdy Escano. At the CJH course, Sarap Nuhay Gang opened with 73 and take a four shot lead in Seniors Fil D. Fil-Am Oahu Golf Club is at second spot with 69 and Ropali is third with 65, just a point off Fil-Am Survivors, Green Canyon Leisure Farms, Pines Golf of California and Drajdan which was penalized for two points and its total from 66 to 64. The Residences at Brent, meanwhile, upped its lead to 12 after improving to 70 after an opening round of 52 that was good tied for second. With its 122 total, it leads ICSI/TMI Team 2 which has 59 for 110, while day one leader Sandigan Golfers Team 2 added 53 for 107 total and third spot.
The Fil-Am golf is backed by Columbia, Boysen, 3k Rock Engineering and Toyota as presentors. It also has Palm Grove, Britanny Corp and Asiatraders Corp. as major sponsors. The minor sponsors are: Time Cargo Logistics, Lola Nena’s, K&G, Rudy Project, JTEN Sports, Inc. Januarius Holdings, Beer Below Zero and the Tee Sports Gear. The hole in one sponsors are Spes Construction, Inc., Noah Business Applications and Laus Group of Companies, while the media partners are the Daily Tribune and Prefect Drive. Pigeon Lobien THIRDY IN CHARGE. Manila Southwoods 2 captain Thirdy Escano chips in for a possible putt at the Baguio Country Club golf course on a miserable day for the many time defending champion which stumbled to 80 points and 167 points to fall to third place and 14 down on new leader Alpha Phi Omega Team Alpha. Escano said that they are in a grim situation as they hope now to cut the deficit at the longer and more forgiving Camp John Hay layout on Wednesday and Thursday. Cheska Mayumi