Southwoods ready for stern test in quest for 9th Interclub crown

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Southwoods ready for stern test in quest for 9th Interclub crown
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MANILA, Philippines – Manila Southwoods sets out for what could be its most significant challenge in pursuit of a ninth straight PAL Regular Men’s Interclub crown but the team remains optimistic about its chances, relying on a trio of ace amateurs taking the big leap next week.

Many-time national team spearhead Aidric Chan, Lanz Uy and Ryan Monsalve will lead the Carmona-based squad in its quest for continued dominance in the annual championship, which also marks the troika’s final tournament before they transition to the Philippine Golf Tour Qualifying School in Davao on March 5-8.

While expecting strong performances from his players, Southwoods official Jerome Delariarte maintains cautious optimism, identifying Eastridge as their primary competitor when the event is fired off on Friday, March 1, at Pueblo de Oro in Cagayan de Oro.

"Eastridge is continuously improving. They finished second to us last year and beat us in the Am division of the Fil-Am tournament last December," said Delariarte.

The former pro tour campaigner and winner of the 2005 The Country Club Invitational also believes in the team’s firepower but emphasizes that championships are not won on paper. Southwoods’ previous successes were anchored by now PGA Tour campaigner Tom Kim and DP World Tour standout Yuto Katsuragawa.

Eastridge, meanwhile, is also bristling with confidence coming into the four-day championship, determined to make up for its runner-up finish in Cebu last year. Eastridge general manager and non-playing team campaign Gimo Asuncion expresses their increased preparedness and experience among the players.

Ex-pro Gary Sales will lead the youth-laden Eastridge lineup, featuring Jeff Lumbo.

Del Monte, on the other hand, will be banking on its local knowledge, replicating its dominant performance in their Seniors side of the event last Sunday.

Three key members of the victorious Seniors, including skipper Yoyong Velez, will once again represent Del Monte in the competition.

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