Luisita looms as underdog as PAL Senior Interclub kicks off

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Marty Ilagan of Luisita nearly aced the signature par-3 13th hole at Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club, the ball bouncing off the pin during the final practice round in the 75th Philippine Airlines Senior Interclub golf team championships on Wednesday.


Instead of lining up for his short birdie putt, Ilagan practiced from a different spot.


“The greens at Pueblo have a lot of undulations. It is important to know where to place your approach,” said Ilagan who was among seven Luisita players who played the course.


Luisita is defending the title it won last year in Cebu City.


With only five holdovers from last year’s championship squad, the Tarlac-based squad is facing a tough title defense against the souped-up Canlubang and Manila Southwoods and a dangerous crew from Del Monte.


“Will be tough to retain the championship but players are ready and excited for the tournament to start,” said Luisita non-playing captain Jeric Hechanova. “Luisita will be the underdog this year.”

Canlubang looms as the biggest threat to Luisita’s title-retention bid.

With the addition of John Paul Reyes and Jess Hernandez, Canlubang skipper Tony Olives said they have a good chance of regaining the crown.


“We have two scorers coming in to replace our two stoppers,” Olives said. “We can say we have a deep bench.”


Manila Southwoods added many-time Alabang Country Club champion Jorge Gallent to its lineup, making a serious bid to end the Luisita-Canlubang stranglehold of the championship division.


With Gallent teaming up with Junjun Plana, the Carmona-based squad and Del Monte are expected to make the event a four-horse race.


The first round in the championship division will be held at the Pueblo Golf and Country Club.


The next two rounds will be played at Del Monte before it returns to Pueblo for the finale.


Hostilities also kick off in the Founders, Aviator, Sportswriters, and Friendship divisions.


The event is celebrating its diamond anniversary at Cagayan de Oro which last hosted the tournament in 2011.

The 75th staging of the PAL Interclub is supported by diamond sponsors Mastercard and Asian Journal.

Platinum sponsors include Airbus, Primax Broadcasting Network and Araw Hospitality while gold sponsors are Tanduay and Asia Brewery.

Joining the event as silver sponsors are ABS-CBN Global, Radio Mindanao Network and Philippine National Bank.

VISA is a minor sponsor while Must Glow is joining as a donor.



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