THE team fielded by Philippine Kia vehicles assembler and distributor Columbian Autocar Corp. took the championship trophy at the recent 5th Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ) Invitational Golf Tournament held at the Fontana & Apollon Korea Country Club in Clark Field, Pampanga. Participating in the tournament were 14 auto manufacturers who sent 68 golfers that formed 17 teams.
The victory was Kia’s first in the tournament, with teams from Toyota Motor Phils. having won in 2004 and 2005 and BMW Phils. taking the crown in 2007 and 2008. Playing for the Kia team this year were Boying Soriano, Eric Arpilleda, Chito Davila and Nonoy Tan.
Emerging as first runner-up was the team sent by Philippine Volvo cars’ distributor Viking Cars Inc., which was composed of Jaime Puno, Roy del Rosario, Derek Ramsay Sr. and his celebrity son Derek Ramsay Jr.—also champion in Class A.
Coming in as second runner-up was the team from Philippine BMW distributor Asian Carmakers Corp., which was composed of Jay Cruz, Gerry Anonas, Erwin Dimaculangan and Peter Huang.
Following Ramsay Jr. in Class A were Kia’s Davila and Oscar Gallo from Nissan. In Class B, the top spot was clinched by Toyota’s Yuji Goto, who was followed by Lexus’s Danny Isla and Isuzu’s Toshiyuki Watanabe. The Class C title was taken by Mitsubishi’s Felix Espina, with Lexus’s Rene So and Isuzu’s Ryoji Yamazaki coming in next. Among the guests, Gerry Aquino secured first place while Quito da Roza and Caesar Azuelo took the next two spots.
The golf tournament, which was first held in 2004 as SPMJ’s fundraising effort for its road safety advocacy, has in the last two editions been held as a token of appreciation for the vehicle manufacturers that have supported the group’s cause in the past. The proceeds generated from the first three tournaments were used by SPMJ to fund for the production of road safety teaching modules from the University of the Philippines’ National Center for Transportation Studies, and for the seminars to acquaint teachers from numerous private high schools in Metro Manila and other nearby areas on how to effectively use the modules. SPMJ offers the teaching modules to schools free of charge.
The SPMJ counts as members automotive editors, columnists and broadcasters from the Philippines’ leading media organizations. The group is headed by its president Ray Butch Gamboa, and is made up of Pinky Colmenares, Jenny Bleza, Ron de los Reyes, Anjo Perez, Vernon Sarne, Dong Magsajo, Ardie Lopez, Erle Sebastian and Fast Times editor Brian Afuang.