Japanese powers Manila Southwoods.
by Rey Bancod
CEBU CITY - Japanese Yuto Katsuragawa eagled the par-5, 11th hole on his way to 37 points as defending champion Manila Southwoods nursed a one-point lead over darkhorse Tagaytay Highlands in the 72nd Philippine Airlines Interclub golf team championships Wednesday.
While most players struggled with tough pin placements at the Cebu Country Club, the 20-year-old Japanese found little use of his driver and scored the only sub-par round of the day.
Katsugarawa attacked the short 11th hole with a four wood and a five iron to within five feet for eagle. He also made two birdies against three missed green bogeys.
He used his driver only once as he alternated a four-wood and rescue club off the tee.
Kristoffer Arevalo returned with 32 points, but the rest of his Southwoods teammates floundered on opening day.
Josh Jorge tallied 29 while the 28 of either Chepe Dulay and Carl Corpus counted as Southwoods opened with 125 points, 15 points short of its target.
"I can't really say that I'm disappointed and I can really complain because we are leading. I just hope that this will turn out to be our bad day for the week," said Southwoods non-playing captain Thirdy Escano.
Tagaytay Highlands had a chance to overtake Southwoods, but Jolo Magcalayo picked up on the final hole after missing his second putt for bogey.
Magcalayo wound up with 33 points, the same score posted by Marty Ilagan.
"We were actually preparing for the Founders division, but the addition of the Magcalayo brothers elevated us to the championship class. But we're happy to contend," said Highlands non-playing skipper RJ Rizada.