BAGUIO , Philippines – Forest Hills seeks to draw the most from its relatively new roster as it tries to defuse Mizuno’s expected strong charge in today’s start of the Fil Championship of the 64th San Miguel Fil-Am Men’s Invitational golf tournament here.
And Gab Atienza, Ronald Littaua, JM Garcia, Peter Young and skipper Raffy Garcia vow to dish out their best at the tough Baguio Country Club layout which could bring out the worst from each team.
“We have three new members but we’ll be fighting till the end,” said Raffy Garcia, whose wards snatched the premier championship last year when Mizuno was penalized on a final round infraction.
Meanwhile, Darius Corpuz of Fil-Am League of Golfers-Chicago won a brand new Toyota Vios after scoring a hole-in-one at BCC’s 168-yard No. 10. He used a 6-iron and Titleist Pro VIx ball in shooting the ace.
Short in distance but long in challenges, the par-61, up-and-down BCC is expected to challenge the competing field with its tricky elevated par-3 and par-4 holes, which require precision shotmaking.
“We’re aiming for another win. That’s the ultimate goal,” said Garcia.
The Mizuno Superstars, however, are out to redeem themselves with manager Lovell Gopez upbeat of the team’s chances this week.
“I am confident the boys will reclaim the crown,” said Gopez, whose Superstars dominated the centerpiece event two years ago.
For this year’s campaign in the event backed by title sponsor San Miguel Corp. and presented by Toyota, Mizuno will be banking on former pro Raymond Sangil, amateur ace Justin Limjap, Rodel Mangulabnan and the Stehmeier brothers Ace and King.
“I believe we’ll have our redemption this year. Our players are playing steady the last few weeks and are raring to raise the championship on Saturday. They are quite confident to make it all the way,” said Gopez.
Corpuz wound up with a topscoring 31 points as he led Fil-Am League of Golfers-Chicago to the Fil-C lead with a 105, 16 points ahead of Greenwater Meadows II, which had an 89, while Guam Kool Swingers pooled an 87.
Meanwhile, Arnold Dulay scored 29 points, Bobby Inigo had 28 markers, Manuel Bakunawa made 27 and Tomas Joson III added 26 for 110 as Nueva Ecija Seniors posted a 410 aggregate and beat Camp John Hay by 10 in the Am Championship division of last week’s seniors competition. CJH assembled a 400 after a 106 for second while Phl Navy placed third with 392 after a 103.
Team Surigao II assembled a 105 to pose a nine-point lead over Ultra Flite Golf Club I in Fil-B division of the event backed by Wilson, Rudy Project, Empire Golf, Megafiber, Pacsports, BCC, CJH Manor, Poro Point Thunderbird Resorts, Forest Lodge, Le Chef, Rizgolf, CJH Dev. Co., John Hay Coffee Services, University of Baguio, Alveo, North Luzon Expressway, The Residences at Brent, GPS Tracker and GMJ Constructors.