DAVAO CITY - Canlubang scored a pressure-free final-round 118 at Apo yesterday to achieve two milestones in the annual Philippine Airlines Interclub golf championships.
Despite playing with a comfortable 30-point lead, the Sweeties` played their worst round but it didn`t matter as they became the winningest in 56 years in clinching their 12th Championship Division crown.
Not only that. Together with their 141 at Apo, 139 at Palos Verdes and 144 at Apo, they wound up with 542 to be the first to bag the Championship Division title for the fourth straight time.
Southwoods` Erwin Vinluan, 25, scored a double eagle on Apo`s 493-yard 18th hole to duplicate Sweetie Abe Rosal`s feat four days earlier at No. 12 of Palos Verdes on his way to the day`s best of 38 points.
It was the first time since the tournament began in 1948 that two players have ever achieved what is generally considered as golf`s most difficult shot - hitting that ball in two pops on a par-five hole.
And when one Sweetie blurted out, “Too late” he was right, too, in stressing the fact that it would be impossible to overcome 30 points with one round to go.
un Jun Plana and Montito Garcia supported Vinluan with 31 each Juami Rocha added 28 to give Southwoods 128 and settled for second place with 522.
Luisita shot 106 on the 28s of Iggy Clavecilla and Jojo Fernando, Alex Montelibano`s 26 and the 24 of Anthony Fernando to clinch second place with 474.
As a consolation, Luisita returned home to Tarlac City with a trophy - thanks to Francis Gaston, who made 32 points at Apo and shot 35 at Palos Verdes for 67 to win the Championship Division individual title.
Frankie Minoza, the country`s top pro, hit town to cheer Del Monte but younger brother Ben and Joel Opaco could only hit 29 each, and Boboy Jaraula and Tristan Tabanas shot 26 each for 110 to finish fourth with 470.
Asked how they achieved two rare feats, Sweeties manager Luigi Yulo answered: “We still consider Southwoods a strong team. It`s just that Southwoods played exceptionally bad and we played exceptionally good.
“Of course we would go for No. 5 and No. 13,” Yulo added when asked what would be their mission at Cagayan de Oro and Del Monte next year.
And Southwoods team manager Thirdy Escano accepted the defeat graciously. Said he: “I congratulate Canlubang for what they did. They played just great. But we will try our best when we meet again.”
Cebu Country Club closed out with 100 to capture its third straight Founders Division crown with 451. Riviera was second while Forest Hills settled for third.
Maharlika scored a final round 84 at Palos Verdes to capture the Friendship Division crown with 328. South Cotabato carded 68-292 to settle for second. Third was UP Tee Jots with 82 and 283.
The awards ceremony followed at the Venue. PAL President Avelino Zapanta led the special guests in presenting the prizes to the different team and individual winners.
Other top officials with Zapanta were PAL vice president for sales Felix Cruz and PAL assistant vice president for Mindanao Doming Duerme Jr.
The tournament major sponsors include 105.1 Crossover, ABS-CBN Global, Air Philippines, Airbus, CNN International, Fortune Tobacco, GE Aircraft Engines, Joey 92.3, MTV Philippines, PLDT, Premier Wines and Spirits, Radio Mindanao Network, Royal Caribbean International, The Marco Polo Davao and UMBN/Mindanao Times.
Meanwhile, 96.3 WRock, Apo View Hotel and Boeing International Corp. were the corporate backers, while Accel Sports Gear, Asia Brewery, Century Park Hotel, Tanduay Rum, TaylorMade, Nestle Philippines and Discovery Channel were the minor backers. (end) Ê