BAGUIO CITY – Manila Southwoods started with a bang and take a mammoth 22 point lead to start their retention bid of the Fil Championship crown.
Carl Corpus had three birdies and two bogeys en route to the first sub-par at the short and very tricky Baguio Country Club course with a one under par 60 for 37 points for the Carmona, Cavite based team.
Yuto Katsuragawa had a one over 62 for 35, while Aidric Chan and Aguri Iwasaki chipped in 34 and 32 points to count for the team, whose “elder” Junjun Plana did not count with a 30.
The cousins Corpuz and Chan are only 17, while the two Japanese are both 20 year old for an average age of 18.5 sans POlana, who first saw action here in 1982 and for Southwoods in 1997 that started what could be the greatest team to ever have played in the Fil-Am.
Luigi Paolo Wong and Nic Gatmaytan made 31 points and with Carlo Villaroman’s 28 and 26 of Richard Joson, Royal Northwoods is at second spot with 116. That is nine up on Forest Hill which had 29 from Rupert Zaragosa, 28 from Dan Co, and 26 and 24 from Jude Eustaquio and Inigo Raymundo, respectively.
Mizuno is a distant fourth with 99 points.
“We came here prepared and we only need to play good for us to win. I always tell the boys to be prepared for a tournament,” said Southwoods captain Thirdy Escano. In fact, the team has been playing for a month now in preparation for the Fil-Am, he added. Escano said that although they do not come to Baguio to practice, they try to go to a course that may approach the condition of the shorter Baguio courses.
“Even the two Japanese have been in the Philippines for almost a month now just to be prepared for this tournament,” he added.
Meanwhile, Baguio Country Club took advantage of an Ultraflight Golf Club I meltdown to take an 11 stroke lead in Fil B competition at the par 61 BCC course.
The co-hosts actually almost matched their first day total with 101 for a 205 two day sum going to the longer Camp John Hay course.
Jjef Razon had a team best 30 points to lead BCC, even as Euls Austin, Goody Ignacio and Ely Lagman chipped in 26, 24 and 21 points, in that order, to count for the team.
This as day one leader collapsed with a 73 after an eye popping 121 on day one, which so far is the best score at the short and tricky BCC course.
Butch Bakunawa led Ultraflight with 24, after a first round 14 which did not count, but all others fared miserably with Antonio Guttierez shooting a 19 (from 30), Sonny Tiglao with a 16 (from 26) and CocoySulaik falling to 14 from a three over for 33.
Baguio Summer Capital stayed at third spot after an 88 for 180 points and maintain a one point lead on Cool Jocks which made 89 points. Four other teams are within striking distance with Rural Bankers II and TGIS Davao with 177 after rounds of 88 and 85, respectively, while CJH tied Ventureslink – Robros-Jayworks with 175 after rounds of 88 and 85, respectively.
Greenwaters Golfers of Baguio, meanwhile had a pair of 31s from Douglas and Gary Puckett for 108 and 210 total to wrest the lead from Surigao Omni Pharma which shot a 105.
Other scorers for Greenwaters are Robert Boado with 25 and Winnie Oppod who made a 21. The third Puckett, John Paul, made 16 and did not count.
Surigao had 31 points each from Santino Laurel and Alex Ong.
First round co-leader Team Kumpadres fell to third after an 84 for 187 points, after a 27 from Sammy Sab-it, a pair of 21s from Ramir Badua and George Punasen and 15 from Francis Calanio. Warren Dagupon did not count with his 11.
Rey Manuel shot 21 points and lead Surigao Magilas to 77 for 156, as they doubled their lead to four over Eton which made 75 for 152. Uragun Golf B had a 74 for 143 and third spot.
Jeffrey Ong made 20 points as Surigao II came up with 63 points for 137 for a two point lead over Batch 92 which made 62. Macquarrie Links Sydney is at third with 130 after a 59.
RO / Fil-Am Media
Banner photo: Carl Corpus shows form on this shot. Contributed photo