This year, Del Monte will try to do something it has never done before in the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub – win the Men’s title away from home.
The Bukidnon-based defending champions will be parading basically the same team that triumphed in Del Monte and Pueblo de Oro in Cagayan de Oro last year as action heads to Davao where the challenge posed by Rancho Palos Verdes and Apo Golf are as formidable, if not greater.
With Canlubang taking a leave of absence this year and The Country Club serving out a suspension, Del Monte is picked as the team to beat, more so after its pool of players has improved more with exposure to several big national events.
Del Monte’s two Interclub titles were both won at home, the first coming early in the last decade with a squad backstopped by Buboy Jaraulla, who jumpstarted Del Monte’s run with a mind-boggling eight-under-par 64 over the tree-lined course.
The Sugar Barons, the winningest club in Interclub history, will not be seeing action this year with most of its players jumping to the professional ranks.
Southwoods, another club with a rich history in the event, is expected to vault back into serious contention this year, with Cebu Country Club, the second placer last year, tipped to again crowd the favorites for its first Championship Division title.
Seniors action actually gets the PAL Interclub going on February 16 with Canlubang seeking to extend its reign over perennial threat Luisita.
Men’s play will begin on February 22 where five players from each squad will see action each day with the top four to count. In Senior play, four will play with three players counting.
The Platinum sponsors for the 65 th edition of the Interclub include Mareco Broadcasting Network, Radio High, Stargate Media and Media Five; while the major backers are Asia Brewery, Business Mirror and Airbus.
Also lending support are the Department of Tourism, Philippine Graphic, Boeing International Corp., GECAS, Bombo Radyo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, Moevenpick Resort & Spa Cebu, Plantation Bay, Radisson Blu Hotel and Imperial Palace Waterpark & Spa Cebu.