BAGUIO CITY – Luisita Golf & Country Club leaned on its most veteran player, held Manila Southwoods top player at bay and saw its one shot lead increase to 11 with a round remaining in the Fil Championship flight of the 68th Department of Tourism Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament Wednesday (Dec 6).
Eddie Bagtas showed his true worth and matched fellow former pro player Raul Minoza as he submitted a two under for 38 points to tow Luisita’s 131 total and 336 aggregate for an 11 point advantage in the premiere flight of the San Miguel presented event.
Luisita is at the cusp of winning the tournament it last played in 1994. More, it will be a double victory with its Am squad retaining a five point lead over Camp John Hay.
It was actually Rodel Mangalubnan who played along the Southwoods top gun who assembled a tournament high three under for 39 points. Mangalubnan went home with a two over for 34 but it was all the team needed to scrape for more points in the five to play four to count tournament.
Chito Laureta submitted a 30, while Jingy Tuazon had 29 to count for the team which saw Ondoy Mondilla out of the tally sheet.
Southwoods got 28 from Bong Sison, but Sang Jin Lee and Judd Roy were only good for a pair of 27s for the team’s 121 output and 232 total. Kui Sun Moon again did not count despite improving to 24.
Rolly Viray had an even par for 36 points as Megafiber drew 123 points for 330.
“It’s still anybody’s game,” said a circumspect Bagtas, who got relief as he did not walk most of the way. “The golf cart really helped a lot, masakit talaga lalo na pag naglakad,” said the former pro tour player.
“I was now able to score,” he added with relief as he registered birdies at the first, second and 17th but a pick up at the 13th.
To secure the crown, Bagtas said that they need points from Mondilla, who he said is the team’s secret weapon.
“We hope we can finish the tournament as winner. We need to play just the same,” said Luisita captain Jeric Hechanova.
“This is a special way to win, win after 23 years since we last played here,” added Hechanova, who added that it will be double special with the coming 50th year of Luisita next year.
But Hechanova said that the Am squad will have a tough time after its lead cut by four. “It will be a battle to hang on and with one of our guys (Raffy Garcia) twisting his knee,” added Hechanova.
Luisita – Am shot 108 on Alan Alegre’s 30, 27 of Benjie Sumulong, 26 of Hechanova and 22 of Garcia for a three day total of 341.
Monet Garcia fired 30, Fred Puckett made 28, while Goody Ignacio and Jung Sek Jun counted with 26 and 24, respectively, for the team’s 112 and 336 aggregate.
Dugong Bughaw drew even with Baguio City after firing 92, while the latter made 91 for a similar 310 total.
Meanwhile, Ed Mansanares fired 29 points and lead Nueva Ecija to 98 for a three day aggregate of 278 to retain a five point lead in Seniors Fil A action.
Butch Bakunawa assembled 26, Doy Mercado had 22, while former Nueva Ecija Gov. Tommy Joson coutned with a 21 as the team stayed co-host BCC which made 100 points and 273.
Forest Hills is at third with 244 after a 75.
In Seniors Am A, Efren Alvez fired 30 points to lead San Miguel Corporation 87 for 290 and a seven point lead on Wednesday Club of Mimosa which made 86 and 283 total.
Team Na Koa had 88 for a three-day total of 279 which is good for third spot.
Teerifics made 85 points for 242 and wrested the lead from two day leader Guam Kool Swingers in Seniors Fil B. The Guamanians carded an 81 for 239 points and nine off third ranked Villamor Air Base.
Co-host BCC, meanwhile, fired 73 for a 234 and see its single shot lead increase to 14 in Seniors Am B. Reggie Gamboa led the team with 20 points as play shifted at their home course.
PR Bank – Isabela Golf Club had 60 points for a 220 total, followed by ICSI – TMI which made 72 and 213 total.
Sandigan 82 made 64 points and 219 total for a 21 point lead in Seniors Fil D. IGC Seniors is at second spot after a 63 and 198 just a point off VFW Post 124 S which tallied 71 points.
Fil-Am Survivors had 57 points for 190 and a 12 shot lead on Fil-Am Golf of Florida (50=178) in Seniors Am D, while Team Mcder is third spot with 146 after a 37 point production.