3-way fight looms at PAL Seniors Interclub

A three-way fight looms when the 28th Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub golf team championships kick off on Thursday in two golf courses inBacolod.

Defending champion Canlubang is gunning for its fourth straight crown against old rival Luisita Golf Club and darkhorse Cebu Country Club.

All three are parading new recruits to bolster their respective title bids.

Canlubang is bringing in reigning seniors amateur champion while Luisita is tapping former pro Eddie Bagtas. Regular Interclub standout Jeric Hechanova is making his seniors’ debut with Cebu Country Club.

For the second straight year, Canlubang will be missing the services of Tommy Manotoc, but will have the likes of Dave Hernandez, Rolly Viray, Mari Hechanova and Tony Olives to carry the torch.

Last year, the Sugar Barons rallied in the final round to edge Luisita by six points.

Aside from Bagtas, Luisita is fielding old hands Francis Gaston, Richie Garcia, Pepot Inigo, Seve Roxas Chua, Lino Magpantay, Bong Sison and Iggy Clavecilla, who is returning into action for the first time in two years.

Team manager Joey Romasanta said Luisita has a good chance of foiling Canlubang’s four-peat bid.

Competing in the Founders’ division last year, CCC ran away with the title, but fell 13 points short of contending for the overall crown.

Aside from Hechanova, CCC will be represented by Montito Garcia, Nonoy Tirol, Masatsugu Ochiai, Koichi Horii, Lor Alaan, Ray Gibbs and Kim Kwang Seok.

The field will be divided into four divisions, namely: championship, Founders, Sportswriters and Friendship.

Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentebella and PAL marketing head Rufino Fermin II have been invited to hit the ceremonial balls today at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club.

Binitin Golf Club is the other venue of the four-day event.

This year's Interclub is being co-sponsored by CrossOver withBoeing,PhilippinesGraphic, Stargate Media (People Asia) and Rogue as corporate backers. Also lending support are Airbus, Business Mirror, One Mega Group (Travel Now), Philippine Broadcasting Corporation, Manila Broadcasting Corporation and Manila Bulletin.

A total of 77 teams – some of them coming from the United States, the Middle East, Australia and Canada, are entered in the Men’s division.