Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Del Monte out to end Canlubangs reign

 Del Monte out to end Canlubang’s reign

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The 64th Philippine Airlines Interclub golf team championships get under way Wednesday with Del Monte Golf Club emerging as the biggest obstacle in Canlubang’s bid to extend its five-year unbeaten run.

Del Monte, which won its first and only title in 2004, is making a serious title run with reigning national champion Clyde Mondilla at the helm of a young squad, majority of which are products of the club’s junior golf program.

Mondilla, 17, is fresh from a runner-up finish in the WWWExpress-DHL amateur championship and looms as the event’s top attraction.

“Clyde is a class of his own,” said Del Monte playing captain Yoyong Velez, the only remnant of the 2004 championship team.

Mondilla returns to the site of his greatest triumph so far.

Less than a year ago at Del Monte, Mondilla routed Miguel Tabuena, 9 and 8, in a clash between two of the country’s top prodigies.

Julius Bautista, the player Tabuena narrowly beat in the semifinals of the same event, is one of six Del Monte holdovers that include Mondilla, Velez, Bannie Abano, Noel Langamin and Leonard Lofranco.

Del Monte’s new faces – all in their twenties – are Lawrence Cubillo, Magno Arangcon, Mark Mondilla and Jovencio Lusterio.

Tommy Manotoc, one of Canlubang’s Old Guards, said Del Monte’s young players can play, but added he would like to know how they handle championship pressure.

With the departure of Mark Fernando and Jonnel Ababa coupled with the adoption of a new handicapping system, Canlubang’s once formidable squad has been reduced into a selection of tested veterans, former caddies, junior and club players.

Aside from Rolly Viray, Canlubang reactivated old hands Dave Hernandez and Abe Rosal and tapped Gabriel Manotoc, 12, and club player Mico Ochoa. Completing the team are world junior champion Rupert Zaragosa, Jobim Carlos, Art Arbole, Paul Echavez and Joey Huerva.

Del Monte foiled Manila Southwood’s bid in 2004 by shooting a record 12-under in the opening round at its home course. Buboy Jaraulla’s seven-under 65 remains an Interclub mark.

“The 2004 team is stronger than what we have now, but the field before was tougher,” said Velez.

On a scale from 1 to 10, Velez places their chances at seven.

Except for Mondilla and Abano, who will both see action at Del Monte and Pueblo, the rest of the team will play exclusively in one course, according to Velez.

This year’s competition is backed by platinum sponsors Boeing, Airbus, Radio Mindanao Network, Business Mirror and Interactive Broadcast Media (DWWW).

Major sponsors are People Asia, 105.1 Crossover, GE Aviation, Asia Brewery and Traversing the Orient.

Also lending support are corporate sponsors Manila Bulletin and Bombo Radyo Philippines, while minor sponsors are Lufthansa Technik Philippines, MasterCard and Century Park Hotel. Prize donors include Panasonic Avionics and Tanduay.






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