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Southwoods holds on to victory


BAGUIO CITY — Junjun Plana failed to break 30 points for the first time but got ample support from his teammates as Manila Southwoods successfully defended its Fil Championship title in the 72nd Fil-Am Invitational senior golf team tournament at the Baguio Country Club Thursday.

The 55-year-old struggled coming home and posted 29 points, still the team’s best score.

“I got tired toward the end, but I was pleased with how I played this week,” said Plana who ran away with the Group 1 individual crown.

Plana made only one birdie on the first hole, reached the par-5 sixth hole in two but three-putted for par.

After reaching the turn on even par, he bogeyed 12, 13 and 14 before picking up on 15. He dropped another shot on 17 before closing with a par.

It was a sparkling debut from Plana who nevertheless played down his contribution.

“This is still a team competition. Everyone did his share. But perhaps more than the competition, it is nice to see and play with people I only see at Fil-Am and the PAL Interclub,” he said.

Raul Minoza and Judd Roy each shot 26 points while Manfred Guangko added 25. Theodore Pascual’s 24 did not count.

Manila Southwoods totaled 463 points, 11 points clear of Luisita.

“Our young additions delivered,” said Southwoods captain Freddie Mendoza, referring to Plana and Guangko.

“We look forward to the next battleground, the PAL Interclub. Hopefully, we can have Raul (Minoza) playing for us,” Mendoza said.

Luisita, which did not see action last year, matched Southwoods’ final-round output of 106 points.

“I think we lost it during the third round where we allowed Southwoods to extend its lead to 11 points,” said Benjie Sumulong who rebounded from a slow start to salvage 26 points.

Sumulong, the team’s top scorer, made only 11 points in the front nine before rallying with 15 points in the tougher back nine.

Chino Raymundo, who failed to count Thursday with 19 points, redeemed himself with a team-best 29 points while Rodel Mangulabnan chipped in 28. Rounding out the team score was Dan Cruz who added 23. Marty Ilagan did not count with 21.

Riviera Golf, drawing 31 points from Kyung Young Sung, took third place with 416.

Mamala Bay and Leeward Fil-Am of Hawaii settled for fourth and fifth places with 394 and 361, respectively.

In the Am-Championship, Raul Lambino and Demi Saclot shot 31 and 30 points, respectively to power Alpha Phi Omega Golfers-Team Alpha to a five-point win over Srixon IMG.

With Querubin Alcantara and Reynaldo Talatala adding 25 and 21, respectively, APO pooled 107 at the Camp John Hay Golf Club to bring its total to 379 points.

Srixon IMG, drawing 32 points from August Cruz, totaled 374, two points ahead of third placer Dugong Bughaw.

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