Darwin, Sparta fortify title quest with substantial leads


BAGUIO  CITY, December 3 – Darwin Golf Club Australia and Team Sparta fortified their bids as there leads have become virtually unassailable with a round left in the Fil and Am A flights, respectively, in the 66th Fil-Am Golf Invitational presented by San Miguel Corporation.

This as Southwoods and San Miguel – Northern Cement resume their quest in the premiere Fil Championship flights tomorrow, Dec. 4, at the Camp John Hay golf course.

Darwin shot 110 for 309 points and an 11 point lead in Fil-A. Peter Hergraves led anew with 32, while Kyle Butler, Wayne Morris and Gary Norris added 31, 26 and 21, respectively to count for the Aussies.

Silicon Valley Golfers Link II outscored the leader with its 102 and 298 total to lead Batch 92 by four after the latter scored 102.

Thirdy Escaño turned in 27 while three players had 25 points as Team Sparta assembled 323 and a 16 shot lead over Summit Point in Am-A.

Summit Point made 94 and 307 total and an eight point lead on overnight co-leader Villa Cacho – Ben–life which made 78 and 299.

Philippine Navy shot 100 points built around the 27 of Ramon Fernando, the 26 of Joey Anciano and the 24 and 23, respectively of Kazuo Murakami and Renie Floro, for the team’s three day aggregate of 265 and assume top spot in Fil D.

Greenwater Meadows slowed down with a 92 and 261 total to fall to second spot and ahead of Mizuno Ecostrong and Ultraflite Golf Club II which shot a similar 95 and 249.

Baguio City Golf Team slowed down with a 70 at the BCC course but still leads by 15 in Am-D action. Inoc Laranang made 19, Michael Lawana and Melchor Rabanes shot a pair of 18s, while Herr Bautista added 15 to account for the team’s 70 and 255 total.

Ultraflite Golf Club I made 73 and 240 total to overtake Isabela Golf Club – Leaders at second spot after the latter made a measly 63 and 237 tally.

The expected showdown between defending champion Manila Southwoods and the fancied San Miguel – Northern resumes tomorrow, Dec. 4, when play shifts at the longer and score friendlier CJH course.

San Miguel will parade Eddie Bagtas who was sidelined the first two days of competition to give way to the younger players led by Rupert Zaragoza and some of the cream of Philippine amateur golf.

“Pukpukan na to,” said Bagtas, as he will once again rely on a strong team built around the pint sized Zaragoza.

Southwoods has 255 points and a three shot lead on San Miguel which made the flight best 130 and 252 total.

“We just have to remain patient and keep on playing.  We’re here to have fun and enjoy the game,” said Southwoods captain, Escaño.

Royal Northwoods is at third spot with 129 and 241 total with Jobim Carlos firing the first even par at the BCC for 36 points last Wednesday. Carlos, the reigning amateur match play champion, leads the individual race with 70 points.

That is one up on Luisita’s, the youngest team in the tournament with average age of 15.2. Jerich Hechanova is right on track of their bid to just finish at the podium. “This is a very young team and a podium finish will always be more than welcome,” said the Luisita golf manager.

Two teams are tied at fifth – Che’Lus I and Forest Hills with 225 after shooting 109 and 115, respectively.  Mizuno is another shot down after making 117, while Surigao is at the tailend with 210.

Meanwhile, Southwoods carries a four shot lead on Batangas Barakos in Am Championship as games shift to the BCC course.