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Del Monte relishes first-ever PAL Senior Interclub triumph

Victorious Del Monte golfers celebrate their sweet conquest. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PAL

Del Monte closed out with its worst round all week. Yet it turned out good enough for its best victory of all time.

Practically the hosts here, the Del Monte bets accumulated 141 points on Sunday to capture their first-ever Philippine Airlines Interclub seniors’ championship here.

Del Monte virtually won the crown following an 18-point spread with still a round left on Saturday, reducing the seniors’ action of the 75th PAL Interclub staging to battle for second between Canlubang and Manila Southwoods.

The Sugar Barons played catch-up until the last two holes for 142 total, giving them a three-point advantage over the Carmona-based golfers and winning for themselves the runner-up honors.

It was a morale-boosting for Canlubang which lost the title to Luisita last year in Cebu in a standoff that was decided only on the last round.

But the limelight rightfully belonged to Del Monte who garnered 601 points in four days of work.

“This is very sweet for us,” skipper Yoyong Velez.

“The guys simply delivered and I am very proud of this homegrown team finally becoming a champion.”

Velez carded a five-over-par 77 for 49 points, the same output of Ondoy Mondilla. Roroy Minoza shot 43 points and June Maghamil 42 to ensure the 17-point victory.

“We take pride in winning this event for the first time,” Velez added. “Simply because we have been playing year in and year out using only players that come from Del Monte. We don’t recruit players from the outside.”

Already, Velez is talking about repeating for next year regardless where the Interclub will be played.

“We will all go through qualifying,” he said. “I think that was the secret of our success here.”

Cangolf held on to a three-point edge for second place after getting 50 points from Damasus Wong, 48 points from the veteran Abe Rosal, and 44 from Abe Avena for 584 overall.

Manfred Guangko scored 51 points for the Carmona-based bets, which still came up with its best finish in this division for players 55 years old and above.

Southwoods also counted the 46 points of Joseph Tambunting and the 45 of Theody Pascual even as Luisita slipped to its worst finish here in years after tallying a closing 135 to wind up fourth.

The Luisitans got 52 points from Ferdie Barbosa and 44 from Dan Cruz, with the injured Marty Ilagan counting as the third scorer after a 39 as Rafael Raymundo skied to a 37.

The 75th staging of the PAL Interclub is supported by diamond sponsors Mastercard and Asian Journal.

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