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Southwoods takes 4-shot PAL lead

Baguio City — Manila Southwoods opened defense of its PAL Ladies Interclub title yesterday with a chilling message that even if it is undermanned it will take  a lot of effort for chief rival Cebu Country Club to wrestle the crown from its head.

Southwoods posted a four-point lead in chilly conditions at the Camp John Hay course despite having to play with one player less than the usual four-woman ensemble.

Bernice Ilas comes up with an even-par 69 worth 54 points as defending champion Manila Southwoods took a 4-point lead over Cebu Country Club at the start of the 11th PAL Ladies Interclub yesterday at the Camp John Hay in Baguio. (Manila Bulletin)

Bernice Ilas comes up with an even-par 69 worth 54 points as defending champion Manila Southwoods took a 4-point lead over Cebu Country Club at the start of the 11th PAL Ladies Interclub yesterday at the Camp John Hay in Baguio.
(Manila Bulletin)

The team had no back up player but the three that were fielded responded to the occasion with two teenagers leading the way.

Rookie Bernice Ilas, 14, and Sophia Chabon, 15, delivered for the five-time champions, with 54 and 52 points, respectively, finishing their round under the midday rains that usually blanket this mountain course at this time of the year.

But bad weather notwithstanding, the teens delivered big time with Ilas shooting even par 68 on four birdies and four bogeys, while Chabon had two birdies against four bogeys.

The other player for Southwoods, Lora Roberto, had 47 points as Southwoods aggregated 153 points.

“As long as we’re up, it’s a good day,” said team playing captain Claire Ong.

Southwoods was forced to use only three players for this round at least after  Andrea Pineda begged off due to her studies.

Southwoods, however, is not out of the woods by any means. Cebu also served notice that it plans to continue to press and hopefully end the team’s five-year reign.

Crystal Faith Neri led the challenger’s charge with 57 points, sinking six birdies against three bogeys to score the day’s best score.

Sisters Irina and Junia Gabasa shot 48 and 44 points, respectively to round out CCC’s scoring.

 Although 32 teams are competing, Manila Southwoods and Cebu Country Club are the squads fighting for bragging rights being the only ones to that were able to put together a full team of high quality players.

 The other 30 teams are scattered in four other divisions based on their club handicaps.

 Major sponsors of the 72-hole event include Solar Entertainment Corp., Airbus, Business Mirror, Mareco Broadcasting Network, People Asia and Manila Broadcasting Corp. Other backers are Philippine Daily Inquirer, Fonterra, Mega Fiber, Mastercard, Tanduay Distillers and Zalora.

 The results:

Championships: Manila Southwoods Masters, 153 (Ilas 54; Chabon 52; Roberto 47) Cebu Country Club 149 (Neri 57; Gabasa, I. 48; Gabasa, J. 44)

Founders: Alabang Country Club 145, Valley Golf South 140, The Orchard Team 1 131, Tagaytay Highlands Ladies Chapter 127, Rancho PalosVerdes 125, Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club 120, Del Monte 111, Manila Southwoods Legend 110

Sportswriters: Eagle Ridge 121, Camp Aguinaldo Team A 119, Apo Golf 115, Davao City Golf  Club 109, Manila Golf 108, Camp John Hay 106, Anvaya Golf Club 105, Valley North 102, Pueblo de Oro 101, Lady Eagles Australian/New Zealand 98, Bacolod Golf 94, Iloilo Golf 90,

Friendship: Wack Wack 99, Victorias 97, Alabang Ladies 95, Baguio Country Club 92, Camp Aguinaldo Team B 89, Orchard Team 2 80, Port Moresby 76