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Big start nets Del Monte 5-point cushion in PAL Interclub golf tilt

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Big start nets Del Monte 5-point cushion in PAL Interclub golf tilt

MANILA, Philippines -- Del Monte positioned itself for a potential rare sweep of the PAL Interclub golf team titles by amassing 109 points at the Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club Friday, gaining a five-point lead over Eastridge in the first round of the Men’s Regular tournament in Cagayan de Oro City.

Rolando Bregente and Cliff Nuneza flashed top form, both breaking par with 69 and 70 worth 39 and 38 points, respectively; while team captain Yoyong Velez backed them up with 32 points for a 109 aggregate under the new four-to-play, three-to-count scoring format introduced in this year’s championship.

The strong start not only put Del Monte in early control but also provided momentum needed for their ambitious sweep after its seniors squad’s dominant performance in the previous week.

And the advantage for the Bukidnon-based squad lies in the fact that the second and third rounds will be played at their home course, giving them a local knowledge edge on the tight, tree-lined mountain-top layout.

Bregente, a 21-year-old sophomore at Bukidnon State University, gunned down five birdies to offset a two-bogey miscue; while Nuneza, 16, overcame a challenging start at the back marred by two three-putts with birdies on Nos. 13, 14, 16 and 18.

With its main crew opting to sit out the first round play, defending champion Manila Southwoods struggled with a 96, allowing Eastridge to emerge as the early challenger with a 104.

Chris Remata led the Binangonan-based squad with 36 points, supported by Jeffren Lumbo’s 35 and Jhondie Quibol’s 33.

On the other hand, Miko Granada and Shinichi Suzuki fired 35 and 32, respectively, for Manila Southwoods with the 29 of either Junjun Plana or Zach Castro counting for the squad.

South Pacific Davao scored 83 points behind Nino Villacencio (32), Edmar Salvador (30) and Jomar Salvador (21).

Meanwhile, Cebu Country Club grabbed a one-point lead over Wack Wack in the Founders Division as national team standout Jacob Cajita delivered 35 points, and Jon Alvarez and Harvey Sytiongsa scored 33 and 30 points, respectively, for 98 points.

Wack Wack drew 35 points from Perry Bucay and a couple of 31s from Geoff Tan and Theodore de Jesus for 97 points even as Forest Hills crowded the top two teams with 95 points.

Raymundo Inigo and Don Breganza matched 32s while Rocky Kristian Co added 31 points for the Antipolo-based team.

Several teams, including Valley (93), Canlubang (92), Eagle Ridge (91), The Orchard (90), Riviera Golf (90) and Del Monte (90), are within eight points off Cebu Country Club.

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