BAGUIO CITY – Manila Southwoods is halfway into claiming its seventh straight title in the 70th Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament and tie the tournament’s longest streak held by, wait a minute, Manila Southwoods.
Southwoods nearly matched its first day total of 155 with a 154 despite top man Aidric Chan counting out with a “meager” three over for 33 points for a whopping 309 total and 40 point lead in the premiere Fil Championship flight Sunday, Dec. 15.
But it was the tall lanky Lanz Uy who carried the day after firing what could be the best score in the 23 years of Southwood in the tournament.
Uy was just so hot on day two at the Camp John Hay course as he fired a tournament best eagle aided seven under 62 for 43 points. The gangling Uy, who topped teammate Chan’s 41 on first day, made it at the par 4 eighth hole as he drilled in seven birdies on holes 1, 2 10, 13, 14, 16 and 17 which was marred by two bogeys on the dog-leg fifth and sixth.
Aguri Iwasaki was again the second man for Southwoods, which first joined the tournament in 1997, had a near to perfect round with five birdies – on 2, 7, 8, 12 and 16 – and two bogeys, at the crows fly ninth, John Hay’s most difficult, and final hole.
Taiseu Shimuzu had an even par, while 15-year old Sean Ramos followed up his opening round of 36, which did not count, with a similar output.
Uy also paces the individual race with 80 big points, followed closely by Iwasaki at 79 and the rest of the Southwoods crew completing the top 5 – Chan (74), Shimuzu (73) and Ramos (72). The closest who could get near the red hot Southwoods is Forest Hills’ Rocky Co with 70.
Royal Northwoods may yet made the biggest move as it slashed down the lead of second running Forest Hills to a single marker prior the break and the big Baguio Country Club showdown starting Tuesday.
Forest Hills dipped to 125 after an opening even par 144 for a 269 tally and just one up on Forest Hills which made a second best score of 131.
Co once again led Forest Hills with 34, Leandro Bagtas and Jude Eustaquio had a pair of 32s while Chino Raymundo counted with 27. Day one top notcher Dan Cruz had a 26 and did not count.
Despite a six point dip in its performance, Northwoods still made the big leap with a balance scoring from Carlo Miguel Villaroman (34), Nik Gatmaytan (33), Joaquin Fernandez (33) and Stephen Sul (31).
Team Time Cargo Logistics is virtually out of the podium race after a 110 and 240. Junjun Plana, who started Southwoods dominion in 1997 and a stalwart of said team until last year, had a 27.
Southwoods is really on a roll now as the Am Championship side despite not playing at its best still managed to increase its lead to 19 from an opening round lead of 13, or a six point gain going to the longer and easier CJH course.
Jeff Jung this time took the cudgels as he scored 31 points to backstop the Carmona, Cavite squad to its 104 performance and its 118 opener, the team has 222.
Masaichi Otake, Josh Jorge and Miguel Ilas counted for Southwoods with 27, 26 and 21 points in that order, even as Liam Cully did not count after a 16.
“The score in the Fil was what I expected. In the Am, I fielded in some young guys to give them exposure and a chance to show their skills as well,” said a visibly happy captain Thirdy Escaño.
Batangas Barakos had 29 points from Ricky delos Santos for a 98 and 203 total, followed by Islander Mizuno which fired 91 for 184, amazingly staring at a 19 point deficit on the former. Mizuno, however, increased its lead on Forest Hills to two from one.
Chris John Remata slowed down to a 33 after an opening round of 35 to lead Ventureslink-Robros-Jayworkx Golf Team I to 109 and a two day total of 220 for a five shot lead in Fil B at the Camp John Hay golf course.
Summit Point Golf and Country Club improved to 111 from an opening 104 for 215 to stay at five shot down.
Co-host Baguio Country Club finished with a flight best 114 and improved from a tie at fourth and fifth to third spot with 214 just a point off Summit.
Cool Jocks slid down to fourth from second after a 100 and 208.
X1R Mizuno shot a day best 93 to improve to 182, erase a four point deficit and now stares at a four point lead on overnight leader Srixon IMG which made 84 and 177 in Am B.
Crown Legacy made 77 for a two day total of 163 and an eight shot lead on TGIS Davao.
Bernard Joson had 29 points, while three of his teammates came in with identical 27s for a second day total of 110 for 217 points to see its five point lead increase to 13 over Dugong Bughaw in Fil C. Dugong Bughaw shot its second straight 102 for 204 points.
Nine shots further is Ultraflite Golf Club I which made 96 for 195 and third spot.
A trio of 26s gave Mountaineers, which was at third spot before tee off, 96 points for 183 and a six shot lead in Am F.
Camp John Hay retained second spot after a 92 and 177, while overnight leader BCC fell to third after a 74 and 171.
By Dexter A. See