Pueblo de Oro, Del Monte to test talented Interclub field

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The Pueblo de Oro in Cagayan de Oro and Del Monte in Bukidnon courses have been spruced up to perfect championship shape, with the fairways giving more roll and the greens out to challenge the best players when the 75th Philippine Airlines Interclub golf championships get going on Thursday with the Seniors competition.

And with the winds blowing hard in this part of Mindanao at this time of year, a veritable test looms for everyone as Luisita opens defense of its Seniors diadem using practically the same team that rallied to win over Canlubang in Cebu last year.

The well-manicured Pueblo de Oro course will host the first and last days, giving the tournament a twist as every team would have to contend with the trickiness of the age-old gem in Manolo Fortich town in the middle two rounds to have a reasonable buffer going into the fourth day.

“It’s still going to be close, like in the last two editions,” Luisita nonplaying skipper Jeric Hechanova told the Inquirer after a practice round at Del Monte on Tuesday. “But with their lineup this year, the edge definitely is with Canlubang.”

Manila Southwoods is the dark horse this year after the addition of Jorge Gallent, the champion San Miguel Beer coach in the Philippine Basketball Association who will join a team already backstopped by the irrepressible Jun Jun Plana and Thirdy Escaño.

Still, it will be the players against the courses this week as both present different kinds of challenges.

“Del Monte requires precision from tee to green,” Hechanova added. “That’s why it’s the more difficult course and that’s why in all likelihood, the championship will be decided there.” INQ



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