BAGUIO Country Cub proved again the great equalizer and judge as Megafiber rallied from nine points down to win by only two strokes in the premiere Senior Fil Championship title of the 69th Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament.
Trailing 342-351 at the start of a cold Thursday morning that turned “rather hot” as Jose Mari Hechanova describes it, the 2011 champion scored enough to beat three day leader Luisita Golf and Country Club by outscoring the latter, 109-98.
Rolly Viray topscored for Megafiber with 29, the 27s from Hechanova and Rene Unson and a 26 from last man Abraham Rosal, even as lead man David Hernandez did not count with a 24. These were scores the team cringe to think about but were good enough to win the plum.
“We always thought that the real match is here at the BCC, anything can just happen here,” said Unson, who like Hechanova are members of the 2011 winning Megafiber.
While Megafiber played just well enough, Luisita practically melted under the scorching Baguio sun with a touch of icy wind brought by the Siberian wind - with Chino Raymundo coming in with 29 points when he came in first for the defending champion.
But it was all downhill there as his teammates failed to produce at the course that could be real tricky. Jingy Tuazon went home with a 22, Raffy Garcia checked in with a 20 and Rodel Mangulabnan was just good for 21, giving Megafiber
a two point advantage with the last men yet to come – their own Eddie Bagtas and Megafiber's Rosal.
But Bagtas was also struggling and Rosal caught up with him on the seventeenth hole to draw even going to the last hole, Luisita's supposed last stand.
With Bagtas teeing off and making it to about 15 feet from the pin, Rosal's ball rolled to within 16 feet that drew applause from the small gallery of Megafiber, and the Luisita men acknowledging their defeat.
Both missed on their birdie putt then twice putted for similar bogey and a similar 26 points.
“It is a tough course and we had a tough competition,” summed Hechanova, who proved to be the team's steadiest player.
“There is no comparison with our win the last time since this is a tougher competition, Luisita is a very good team,” he added, not mentioning that Manila Southwoods, which again met misfortunes this year, is a very competitive squad also.
“We dedicate this win to our boss, Albert Garcia who assembled this team for the tournament,” added Unson, adding that the Megafiber owner is currently in Sydney, Australia.
Southwoods came in third after a 108 for a 445 aggregate on the 31 of Raul Minoza, 28 of Theody Pascual, 25 of Bong Sison and 24 of Tommy Manotoc. Sang Jin Lee had a 21 and was counted out again.
Southwoods practically suffered a 12 point penalty when Sang signed a wrong card on day two when the Carmona, Cavite based team could have been two down on Luisita.
Southwoods could have won the tournament by six points with 457, but instead was six down on the winner.
Southwoods consoles itself with Minoza bringing home the individual award in Group 1 after he registered a four day total of 130, with earlier rounds of 32, 37 and 30.
BACK AS CHAMP. Megafiber team are back as champion after rallying from nine points down to edge Luisita Golf and Country Club Thursday to win the premiere senior Fil Championship crown.