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Plana puts Southwoods on top

BAGUIO CITY — Rookie Junjun Plana became the first player to break the 36-point barrier, firing 38 points to power defending champion Manila Southwoods to the lead in the Fil-Championship division halfway through the 72nd Fil-Am Men’s Invitational golf team tournament at Camp John Hay Golf Club in Baguio City Monday.

The 55-year-old businessman, rebounding from a pedestrian 30-point debut, bucked a four-putt misadventure on the par-3 seventh hole with four birdies.

“Except for that four-putt, I putted better after learning my lessons yesterday,” said Plana who birdied 3, 6, 10 and 15.

After two early birdies, Plana set up another perfect birdie attempt on 7, nine feet off the cup.

“The ball was in a nice position, uphill with a little break on the right,” he recalled.

Plana hit his first putt a little strong, leaving him with a scary three-foot downhill putt for par. The ball rimmed out of the hole and rolled endlessly about 30 feet away.

Plana said he just laughed it off. “We’re already old to get mad,” he said.

Southwoods finished the day with 127 points, a six-point improvement, to seize the lead with a two-day 248, five shots ahead of first-round leader Luisita.

“They’re probably are settling down,” said Southwoods skipper Freddie Mendoza.

“But the fight will still be at Baguio Country Club. It is about managing the course. Luck plays a lot. Sometimes, good shots are not rewarded while bad shots put you in a good position.”

Raul Minoza made two birdies against four bogeys for 32 points while Manfred Guangko added 30.

Judd Roy rounded out Southwoods’ scoring with 27. Teody Pascual failed to count with 26.

Benjie Sumulong led Luisita for the second straight day, shooting 33 points marred by a final hole pickup. A poor tee shot on the par-3 18th put him in a bad position for his next shot.

Marty Ilagan birdied the 18th for the second straight day to salvage 31 points.

“I was 6-over after 13 holes and I finished birdie-bogey-birdie,” he recalled.

Other Luisita scorers were Dan Cruz 29 and Chino Raymundo 27. Rodel Mangulabnan failed to count with 25.

Meanwhile, Mamala Bay posted 118 to take third spot on 224, two shots ahead of Riviera Golf. Leeward Fil-Am of Hawaii brought up the rear with 196 following a 104.

Over at BCC, Alpha Phi Omega Golfers-Team Alpha raced to a 12-point lead over Srixon IMG in the Senior Am-Championship division.

The APO golfers scored 96 points in their second trip at the short, but tricky course to forge ahead going into the last 36 holes at the Camp John Hay Golf Club.
Demi Saclot once again starred for APO, posting 30 points, the first player in the division to break the 30-point mark after two rounds.
Reynaldo Talatala and Querubin Alcantara added 24 and 23, respectively while Raul Lambino counted with 19 points.
APO now has 181 points, relegating Srixon IMG to second with 169.
Srixon was led by Francis Roger Telan who knocked in 24. He got support from August Cruz 21, Efren Leonardo 20 and Bernard Chang 19.
Manila Southwoods Team 2 dropped to third with 167 after pooling 80 points, including 22 from Thirdy Escano.
Other Southwoods scorers were Joseph Tambunting 21, Raulito Magpantay 20 and Ryan Abdon 17.
Dugong Bughaw and Megafiber rounded out the standings with 166 and 164, respectively.
The Fil and Am-Championship divisions take a break on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Bibak NY/NJ Igolfers collected 79 points to retain the lead in the Senior Am-A class with 160, nine points clear of Pradera Verde and Baguio Blue Bloods who carded an 81 and 80, respectively.
In Senior Am-D, The Residences at Brent was on top with 122 followed by ICSI/TMI Team 2 with 110 and Sandigan Golfers Team 2 with 107.

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