REGULAR FIL-AM BEGINS, SOUTHWOODS DEFEND AGAINST 7 TEAMS INCLUDING SAN MIGUEL BY SAM D. BATISTA

BAGUIO CITY — Games start today, November 30, in the higher flights of the 66th Fil-Am Golf Invitational Championship after the second ceremonial tee off yesterday, November 29, at the Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay golf courses.

This as the Fil-Am executive committee signed the sponsorship contract with San Miguel which is the title presenter of the longest and biggest amateur golf tournament in the country.

Games start for flights A, B, D and E in the regular competitions with eight teams each seeing action in the Fil and Am divisions in flights A and B, while 12 each are enlisted in the lower flights.

“This is a very competitive Fil-Am, the toughest in years,” earlier said co-chair Tim Allen which proved true in the first week of competition where the Senior’s Fil-Championship went down the wire and San Miguel – Northern Cement Corporation (SM-NCC) won only through a countback.

And this is also expected in the regular division where the Championship flights have the most participants in years and with three or four teams expected to vie for the title.

Most eager is the SM-NCC which hopes to stop defending champion Manila Southwoods which will be a difficult task as assessed by Eddie Bagtas.

After completing the mission last week by taking the seniors Fil Championship title, Bagtas and crew go up against Southwoods which will be bannered by last year’s individual winner Justin Quiban, who led the team to a 17 point victory.

Southwoods will be backstopped by veteran Chepe Dulay, Yuto Katsugara and newcomers Ryan Monsalve and Kristoffer Arevalo.

Bagtas hopes to get the better of the Carmona, Cavite based parbusters with new recruit Rupert Zaragoza and to be supported by Lanz Uy, JP de Claro, Maynard Ko and Jelbert Gamolo, the last off Del Monte and nephew of golf legend Frankie Minoza.

Also in the quest are two time champion Mizuno – Superstars Evercode, one time champion Forest Hills (2012), Royal Northwoods which came in here two weeks ago to test the two fairways especially again the BCC, Che’lus, which in 2011 lost through countback to Mizuno and the returning Luisita Golf Club, which last saw action in 1994.

Also seeing action in the top flight of the San Miguel title presented event is Team Surigao I.

Bagtas is wary of Southwoods together with Northwoods, which came in early to test both the fairways which proved difficult for players last week especially the BCC course.

Northwoods will have Jobim Carlos, Rocky Brobio, Carlo Villaroman, Liam Lully, Carlo Gatmaytan, Richard Jospn and Niko Santiago. PNA