By REY BANCOD
DAVAO CITY – Manila Southwoods delivered the knockout punch Friday, scoring a record 155 points – 11-under in stroke play – at the Palos Rancho Verdes in the 70th Philippine Airlines Interclub golf team championships.
That was 24 points better than Canlubang which now trails the Carmona-based squad by 38 points heading into the final round at the Apo Golf and Country Club.
No team has come back from 38 points down to win the five-to-play, four-to-count event.
Japanese Yuto Katsurugawa birdied the first three holes and went on to finish with six-under 66 – equivalent to 42 points, one of the best individual efforts in Interclub history.
After struggling on the greens Thursday, Katsurugawa made six birdie putts in a bogey-free round to wrap up his stint at Palos at six-under par.
All four of his teammates also broke par as Southwoods improved to 426 points.
Liam Patrick Cully and Carl Corpus fired 38 points apiece while Jama Reyes and Aidric Chan each turned in 37.
It marked the first time in Interclub history that a 37 would not count for the team.
Everybody except Southwoods non-playing captain Thirdy Escano has conceded defeat.
“Well, we have a comfortable lead,” said Escano. “Sinuwerte lang ngayon.”
Escano said they were conscious about not giving up a point to Canlubang.
“We didn’t want to give them momentum. Our boys played very well,” he added.
Canlubang also drew a sparkling 41-point performance from Jolo Magcalayo, but ended the day with a paltry 131 points.
Luis Miguel Castro made 31, Jan Philippe de Claro did 29 and Jakey Yulo rounded out scoring for Canlubang with 26.
At far third was Luisita with 361 while Del Monte brought up the rear in the championship division with 349.
Luisita had 129 points courtesy of Eddie Bagtas (36), Dan Cruz (33), Luis Miguel Guerrero (32) and Leandro Bagtas (28).
Del Monte, on the other hand, made 115 points.
Meanwhile, Sherwood Hills built a 21-point lead over Lumbia in the Aviator division after scoring 101 points at Palos.
Shun Ariizumi and Harry Paltongan each fired 31 points to power Sherwood. Other scorers were Shinichi Ogihara 20 and Nestor Sevilla 19.
Lumbia drew 88 points from Alonzo Reyes 26, Degaulle de Leon 24, Danny Gonzaga 20 and Vince Infante 18.
Alta Vista had 99 to hang on to third place with 280, a point ahead of Manila Golf Club.
The 70th PAL Interclub Platinum sponsors are Mareco Broadcasting Network, A&E Networks Asia, RMN Networks, The Manila Standard, Fox Networks Group, Rolls-Royce, TV5, MasterCard, TFC and Business Mirror.
Major sponsors include Asian Air Safari, Airbus, Primax Broadcasting Network and Sabre Airline Solutions while Corporate sponsors are Baron Travel Corporation, Boeing, MX3, GE Aviation, Bombo Radyo Philippines, Asia Brewery, Tanduay Distillers, Sabre Airline Solutions and Tourism Promotions Board.
The donors are Shangri-La at The Fort, Trinity Insurance and Eton Properties.
Sherwood Hills 320 (106-113-101), Lumbia 299 (106-105-88), Alta Vista 280 (93-88-99), Manila Golf 279 (89-89-101), Davao City Golf 277 (91-89-97), Eagle Ridge 272 (81-83-108), Tagaytay Midlands 269 (59-111-99), Victorias 254 (85-75-94), Club Filipino de Cebu 246 (74-81-91), Iloilo Golf 244 (88-79-77), Fil-Am Hawaii 242 (71-85-86), Greenhills West 172 (61-49-62), Vancouver Golf ABC 171 (61-42-68), Pinoy Vancouver Golf 131