DAVAO CITY: Luisita looked on its way to clinching its 16th Philippine Airlines Senior Interclub golf team championship Friday after holding off Del Monte at the Rancho Palos Verdes Golf Club.
The Tarlac-based squad pooled 151 points to build a 14-point lead over Del Monte going into the final round at the Apo Golf and Country Club Saturday.
Benjie Sumulong and rookie Chito Laureta each carded 51 points while Raffy Garcia added 49 for Luisita which opted to sit out its top guns for the finale.
“We went to our steady players today so that we have a strong team tomorrow,” said Luisita non-playing captain Jeric Hechanova.
Luisita will have Eddie Bagtas, Rodel Mangulabnan, Jingy Tuason and Alan Alegre for the final round.
“It will be very hard for Del Monte to get five points from each of our three players so we are very confident,” Hechanova added.
After three rounds, Luisita has totalled 455, Del Monte 441, Canlubang 433 and Eagle Ridge 411.
Del Monte outscored Luisita by a single point, but still faced a formidable task of overcoming a big deficit.
Raul Minoza, a former pro and younger brother of Frankie, led Del Monte with 53 points while Yoyong Velez and Titing Callo chipped in 50 and 49, respectively.
A day after posting 162 points, defending champion Canlubang faded with 147 points and found itself staring at a 22-point deficit.
Abe Avena, playing for the second straight day, carded 52 points, but got little support from his teammates.
Spain-based Mike Preysler added 49 and Mari Hechanova settled for 46 for Canlubang.
Eagle Ridge remained in fourth spot following a 143. Scorers were Seong Song 52, Tong Wha Lee 46 and Jie Sik Oh 45.
The 70th PAL Interclub Platinum sponsors are Mareco Broadcasting Network, A&E Networks Asia, RMN Networks, The Manila Standard, Fox Networks Group, Rolls-Royce, TV5, MasterCard, TFC and Business Mirror.
Major sponsors include Asian Air Safari, Airbus, Primax Broadcasting Network and Sabre Airline Solutions while Corporate sponsors are Baron Travel Corporation, Boeing, MX3, GE Aviation, Bombo Radyo Philippines, Asia Brewery, Tanduay Distillers, Sabre Airline Solutions and Tourism Promotions Board.
The donors are Shangri-La at The Fort, Trinity Insurance and Eton Properties.