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Pradera Verde nears 1st PAL Interclub title

Nicole Abelar

CEBU, Philippines — Pradera Verde slowed down with a 158 but wrapped up the PAL Ladies Interclub crown on its very first try just the same with still one round left at the Cebu Country Club here yesterday.

Yuka Saso returned from a near-flawless first day output of 59 points Tuesday with a 56 Molave points while Nicole Abelar and Michela Effendie backed her up with 53 and 49 points, respectively, as the Lubao, Pampanga-based squad pooled a 158 to move unassailably ahead at 489, 46 points ahead of reigning six-time champion Manila Southwoods.

Pradera opened up with a 167 then added a 166 to all but clinch the championship with Saso, the reigning Philippine Amateur and national match play champion, also a cinch for the individual crown.

Annyka Cayabyab, the youngest member of Team Pradera at 13, didn’t count with a 48.

Pradera’s domination also signaled a shift in the balance of power and the rise of the young guns.

“This is good for the event and the sport in general,” said Southwoods coach Bong Lopez, whose team lost a number of key players who have turned professional.

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Lopez also noted the rise of young golfers.

“Although we would have been happy winning our seventh title, this can only mean that we have to prepare hard for next year’s tournament,” Lopez said. “But it would probably take us three years to contend against Pradera.”

Southwoods collected 146 points with Sunshine Baraquiel pacing the team with 50 points. Other scorers were Loralie Roberto and Samantha Dizon with 48 points apiece.

With Pradera virtually securing the crown in the Championship division, focus now shifts to the battles in the three other divisions.

Manila Southwoods Legends seized the lead in the Founders division after scoring 130 points that brought its total to 383, six points ahead of Alabang.

Maria Singson led Legends with 48 followed by Laurea Duque 44 and Yong Mi Kim 38.

Alabang posted 122 behind Jona Magcalayo 46, Finina Gorres 39 and Eun Sil Jang 37.

A far third was Negros Occidental Team A with 369 points after scoring 135 in the third round.

The title chase in the Sportswriters division is expected to go down on the last putt.

Only three points separate defending champion Eagle Ridge, Sta. Elena and Camp Aguinaldo Team A going into the final round.

Eagle Ridge, riding on Soon Hak Jung’s 45 points, scored a division-best 120 points to seize the lead with 337, two points clear of Sta. Elena and three ahead of overnight leader Aguinaldo.

Sta. Elena also collected 45 points from Maria Therese Dabao to end the day with 115 points while Aguinaldo struggled with just 108 points.

In the Friendship class, Wack Wack retained a 24-point lead over Iloilo despite a measly 94 points.

Iloilo rallied with 104 points for 299 while Manila Golf took third spot with 283.

This year’s PAL Ladies Interclub sponsors are Primax Broadcasting Network, Mareco Broadcasting Network, Fox Sports, Travelife Magazine, People Asia, Asian Air Safari, Airbus, Travel Now Magazine/ TouchPay, Bombardier, PLDT and Mastercard.

Support also comes from TFC, Rustan’s Commercial Corporation, Asia Brewery Inc., Alaska Corporation, Eton Properties, Trinity Insurance and Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

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