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SMC rallies past Southwoods, clinches Filipino Champ crown

(The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2015 - 9:00am

BAGUIO, Philippines – Eddie Bagtas provided the experience and Rupert Zaragosa the power as they shot identical 39 points to lift San Miguel Corp.-Northern Cement to a 148, four-point victory over Manila Southwoods in the Fil Championship of the Fil-Am Golf Invitational at the Camp John Hay course here yesterday.

Tied with last year’s champions from Carmona, Cavite after three rounds, SMC-NC even fell behind by four points to a hot-starting Southwoods side after nine holes. But Bagtas, a former pro, and Zaragosa, a many-time national junior champion, anchored the team’s stirring come-from-behind victory after coming in with three-under par cards in stroke play to snare the  crown.

Jelbert Gamolo added a 36 while Lanz Uy completed the team’s final output in the five-to-play, four-to-count format event with a 34. They wound up with a 543, counting their 122 and 130 at the nearby Baguio Country Club course and a 143 at John Hay Friday that overhauled a three-point deficit.

“It was a successful year for us because we also won the Seniors championship,” said SMC-NC skipper Bobby Iñigo, referring to their seniors team victory over last year’s winner Pugo Adventure via tiebreak last week.

It was a sorry setback for Manila Southwoods, which put in motion its title-retention drive with a 127 and 128 at BCC. Though the Southwoods golfers faltered a bit in the third round with a 140 at John Hay that enabled SMC-NC to force a tie, they dominated the frontside battle in the final round to regain a four-point lead with nine holes left to play.

But they failed to sustain their charge at the back then watched Bagtas and Zaragosa scorch the last nine holes to snatch the win.

Kristoffer Arevalo fired one of the day’s two best 40 points, four-under in medal play, while Yuto Katsuragawa and Ryan Monsalve backed him up with a 37 and 35, respectively.

ACIRC BAGTAS AND ZARAGOSA BAGUIO COUNTRY CLUB BOBBY I BUT BAGTAS CAMP JOHN HAY EDDIE BAGTAS FIL CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE FIL-AM GOLF INVITATIONAL JELBERT GAMOLO JOHN HAY MANILA SOUTHWOODS
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