DAVAO CITY: Luisita ended the two-year reign of Canlubang by completing a wire-to-wire victory Saturday at the close of the 31st Philippine Airlines Senior Interclub golf team championships.
The Tarlac-based squad, reinforced by four club champions, collected 594 points in the four-day event, beating Canlubang by 11.
Rodel Mangulabnan, one of Luisita’s four recruits, scored 50 points at the Apo Golf and Country Club, matching his first round output.
The rest of the Luisita squad struggled, but had enough cushion to hold off Canlubang’s spirited rally.
Eddie Bagtas, Luisita’s top gunner, dropped six shots in the front nine on his way to 45 points while the 44 of either Jingy Tuason or Alan Alegre counted for 139 points.
Canlubang, which started the day 22 points behind Luisita, rallied behind a pair of 52s by Abe Rosal and Dave Hernandez, but managed to cut the lead to half after closing out with 150.
Rene Unson, Canlubang’s third scorer, finished bogey-bogey-double bogey for 48.
Del Monte, which trailed Luisita by 14, unravelled in the final round, limping home with 129 points.
Arsenio Mondilla led Del Monte with 46 followed by Erning Apas 44 and Virgilio Adag 39.
Eagle Ridge brought up the rear in the championship division with 524 following a final-round 113. Scoring for Eagle Ridge were Alfredo Pareja 39, Youn Hwan An 38 and Cesar Castro 36.
It was Luisita’s 16th title, reinforcing its status as the most successful club in the seniors’ event.
“This team will carry us in the next eight or 10 years,” said Luisita non-captain Jeric Hechanova who initiated the revamp after losing to Canlubang last year in Clark, Pampanga.
Aside from Mangulabnan, Luisita’s new recruits were Raffy Garcia, Edmund Yee and Alegre.
For all intents and purposes, Canlubang lost its title on the first round where it made its worst score ever – 124 points.
“I don’t know what happened. Everyone played badly that day,” said Canlubang team owner Luigi Yulo.
After that horrific first round, the Sugar Barons outscored Luisita by 10 points.
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.