Cebuanos pad PAL Interclub lead to three

CEBU – Defending champion Cebu Country Club pooled 130 second round points yesterday to pad its lead over Del Monte to three points halfway through the 66th playing of the Philippine Airlines Interclub’s Men’s championship division.

Marko Sarmiento fired a two-over-par 74 worth 34 points and lawyer Jovi Neri and former club champion Eric Deen shot 33s to anchor the Cebuanos’ steady output over their well-manicured homecourse here for a two-day 250.

Andre Borromeo’s 30 was the final score for Cebu CC as eight-time club champion and playing skipper Ramontito Garcia struggled off the tees to have his 29 thrown away.

Lawrence Cubillo and Reymon Jaraulla assembled 33s and Magnao Arancon returned a 32 to make up Del Monte’s 128 and 247 overall.

Jets Sajulga’s 30 counted as the fourth score for the Bukidnon-based bets, the 2011 champions who discarded the 28 of Julius Bautista.

“A lead is still a lead,” Garcia told scribes after the round, expressing satisfaction that they are still in the driver’s seat – though barely – heading into the final two rounds of the country’s unofficial team golf championship.

“We’re still very happy,” he continued. “Tomorrow, if we increase our lead, the better. Our strongest lineup will still be on the final day, hopefully our experience (over Cebu Country Club) counts.”

Keanu Jahns, a 6-foot-2 half-German, returned the tournament’s first sub-par card in the division’s final flight, a 69 worth 39 points to usher Alabang to a second day 125 that kept it in third spot, now five points behind the pace.

Gabriel Manotoc shot 31 points, Jama Reyes added a 30 and Miguel Shah a 28 to complete scoring for Alabang. Santi Lorenzo failed to count with a 23.

Jahns had five birdies against two bogeys in the lowest round of the tournament thus far, missing the chance to go lower by muffing a putter-length putt for par on the ninth hole – his last – to settle for a 69.

“It could have been better had it not been for my putting and short game woes,” said Jahns, who admitted expecting to play in the final day again because Mactan Islang Golf Club, the site of third round action today, “doesn’t fit my eye very well.”

Sta. Elena remained in fourth spot– but now 51 points behind and totally out of it all – after firing just 102 points built around Jingy Tuason’s 32 points.

Play returns to tight and hard Mactan today and Cebu CC was deep in a team meeting after the round, devising a lineup that would enable them to field the best possible finishers for the final round tomorrow.|

Meanwhile, Negros seized the Founders division lead, also at Cebu CC, after also shooting 130 points for 233.

Chris Infante and Jae Woo-yang paced Negros with 33 points apiece with the veteran Francis Gaston and Chepe Dulay adding 32s as it slipped past first round leader Orchard, which tallied just 118 for 232.

The PAL Interclub is being sponsored by the Department of Tourism, 105.1 Crossover, Solar Sports, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, 92.3 FM Radyo 5, Araneta Coliseum and AXN. Major sponsors are Airbus, Manila Broadcasting Corporation, Philippine Broadcasting Network, People Asia, Radio Mindanao Network, Business Mirror and ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC).

Corporate sponsors include Radisson Blu Hotel, Shangri-La Resort & Spa, Boeing, Inquirer Golf Magazine, Philippines Graphic and Manila Bulletin.