BAGUIO CITY – Manila Southwoods started its bid by taking an eight-shot lead in the premiere Fil Championship at the Baguio City Country Club golf course.
Ira Alido turned in the best score of one over 62 for 35 points as he powered the eight- time champion to a 131 points, an eight points lead over Srixon Forest Hill.
On a windy early Tuesday morning, Alido, one of the three 15 year older from Carmona, Cavite, made two bogeys and a birdie for the day’s best score and tow the team.
“It was a steady game although my birdie shots did not drop in several holes,” said Alido, who missed birdie shots on holes 1, 5, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 17.
Yuto Katsuragawa finished with 34 points while Kristoffer Arevalo and Ryan Corpus chipped in 32 and 30 to count for the team which is the youngest in the tournament.
Arevalo is 17, Corpus is 15 and so is Aidric Chan, who made 29 and did not count, in the five to play four to count tournament.
With the average age of less than 16 for the four players, Southwoods is true to its bid to support young and talented players.
A sick Rupert Zaragosa tried to match Alido in their flight but wound up with a two over 63 and 34 points to lead Srixon Forest Hills to 123 points.
JP de Claro had a 33 while Jude Eustaquio and Luigi Miguel Guerero counted with a similar 28 as Forest Hills took advantage of the two point penalty on Royal Northwoods and a two shot lead on the latter.
Richard Joson toured the par 61 course with a two over for 34 points to lead Northwoods.
Carlo Villaroman made 32 and Luis Castro turned in 31 and Richnell Albano had 26 for the team’s supposed 123 total.
But Albano was meted with a two – point deduction when he putted after a bogey at the 15th hole as Northwoods finished with 121 after the penalty.
Defending champion San Miguel – Northern Cement finished earlier but could only score 117 points, 14 off the leader, which they beat last year in the last round.
Eddie Bagtas and Aniceto Mandanas carded a similar 30, Jelbert Gamolo made 29 and Gabriel Manotoc turned in 28 to count for the team which only got 22 from lead man Maynard Ko.
Zaragosa was instrumental in last year’s San Miguel winning the title when he closed out with 39 points and along Bagtas, who made 39, rallied San Miguel past Southwoods.
But then this year, the country’s top young amateur moved to Forest Hills, while another member of last year’s San Miguel, Lanz Uy, moved to Southwoods and plays for the Am Championship team.
“It is anybody’s game,” said an optimistic Bagtas as he said that he is hoping for a better play on Wednesday before moving to John Hay for the last two games on Friday and Saturday.
Mizuno Ecoverde had 113 for fifth spot, followed by Time Cargo Logistics which shot 103 even as Che’lus hogged the cellar with 99.
Meanwhile, Team Surigao I carded a 105 and take a four- shot lead on Summit Point Elite in Fil A action.
Mamala Bay is another shot down and one up on Silicon Valley Golfers Link I.
Forest Hills opened with a one point lead on Philippine Navy in Am A after shooting a 114.
San Miguel – Northern Cement II is at third spot with 108.
Camp Aguinaldo equaled its first day production of 104 for a 206 total, thanks to its first day penalty of two points.
Sultan Kudarat matched its first day 101 for 202 points while Pinewoods Golf Club made 94 for 193 and third spot in Am B.
TGIS Davao and Uragun Golf B opened with a similar 78 to lead in Fil D and a one shot lead on Team Baguio City.
Batch 92 fired 89 points and an eight point lead on Fil-Am League of Golfers of Chicago in Am D.
Team Surigao II is two off with 79 points.
Team Surigao III leads in Fil E with 73 and two off on Isabela Golf Club – Builders.
Summit Point Golf Club was penalized by two points to stay at third spot with 69.
Ultraflite Golf Club II carded 64 points for a two day tally of 141 which is three up on Che’lus I and Uragun Golf B which made 73 and 64, respectively. Sam Bautista/PNA-northboundasia.com