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S’woods pads lead to 31, Forest Hill wrest Am Champ lead

TOP MAN. Sean Ramos watches Luisita Golf and Country Club’s Jet Hernandez hole out at the par 3 18th of the Baguio Country Club course where Manila Southwoods zoomed to a 31 point lead in the premiere Fil Championship flight of the 71st Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament. Ramos is now co-leader with Junjun Plana in the individual race. Fil Am Media Photo

After missing a year of the biggest and longest running amateur golf event, many time champion Manila Southwoods appears even hungrier as it is turning the premier Fil-Championship into a solo performance, thanks to another big performance of its five players at the shorter and trickier Baguio Country Club at the penultimate round Thursday.

Josh Jorge had 30, and a 29, 28 and 27 outputs from Masaichi Otake, Sean Ramos and Ryan Monsalve as the Carmona, Cavite based teams tallied 114 points for three-day total of 382 and a 41 lead on Luisita Golf and Country Club. Lance Uy, after a team best 37 on day two did not count with 26.

It was a rally that came short for the Tarlac team as it only produced 104 points on the 27s of Joaquin Hernandez, Gabriel Manotoc and Andres Lorenzo, who finally counted after so-so performances at the longer and easier Camp John Hay golf course the first two days and a 23 from Jed Dy. Leandro Bagtas did not count with his 22.

Luisita team captain Jerich Hechanova earlier said that all the boys need their Southwoods opponent by at least three points the next two days. However, only Manotoc won over his flightmate, Uy, 27-26, while the rest came up short.

With the 104, Luisita has a three-day total of 351 and appears to be heading to another bridesmaid finish with the insurmountable lead that Hechanova said that while staring at a 21-point lead on Wednesday “I cannot tell the boys to do it one time but rally in the third or fourth quarter just like in a game of basketball.”

Forest Hills made its big rally at the Camp John Hay golf course when it scored 100 points to move past second day leaders Time Cargo Logistics and X1R Mizuno with a three-day total of 324 in Am Championships.

Jose Inigo Raymundo came out with a flight best 29 points at the difficult CJH course where pin placements were a puzzle to most players the past three days.

Rodel Mangalubnan had 27 points, while Raymund Bunquin and Augusto Pacheco came out with a pair of 22 even as Edgar Lee did not count with 20 points.

Two day leader Time Cargo moved down to second spot after 94 for 320 points on the pair of 26s from Junjun Plana and Joseph Tambunting, Gary Sales and Ruel Cabral added 25 and 17, respectively for the team.

Second day co-leader fell to third spot with 315 after and 89on the 24 of Gabriel Macalagum, the 23 of Brixton Aw, 22 of Ace Stehmeier and 22 of Antonio Arce.

“We did not expect to take the lead, the course played hard today,” said Bunquin, Forest Hills captain, after they surged to the first spot after starting out third and 13 off Time Cargo.

“We will still go for good scores on the last day tomorrow,” added Bunquin, who was the first to score a course record at CJH with six under 63 when it re-opened in 1998 under the Camp John Hay Development Corporation and after years under American management.

Meanwhile, Southwoods aim for a double finish as Ramos joined Plana, the two day leader, in Class 1 in the individual competitions.

Ramos, now one of Southwoods more senior players at 16, carded 28 at the BCC course and with his 34 and 35 on the first two days joins Plana, who limped with a 26 on top of his even par 36 and one over 35.

Plana was the top man of Southwoods when it first joined the Fil-Am in 1997.

Luisita’s Hernandez, who opened with a three under for 39, the tournament’s best score so far, added a 27 and with the day two 30 is at third spot with 96 and Southwoods’ Monsalve is just a shot down with 95 on rounds of 36-32-27.

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