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Southwoods, Luisita renew Fil-Am rivalry

BAGUIO—The rivalry between Manila Southwoods and Luisita continues as they lead a big cast of 252 teams slugging it out in the 73rd Januarius Fil-Am Golf Invitational at the Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay courses in Baguio starting November 25.

Last year, Manila Southwoods put one over Luisita with an 11-point victory for the Fil Championship.

The Carmona-based club will practically have the same nucleus of Jun Plana, Raul Miñoza, Theody Pascual and Manfred Guangko with Bong Brobio as the fifth member in their title-retention quest. 

“I know the battle would be intense so I reminded the guys to just enjoy the week and play pressure-free,” said Southwoods captain Freddie Mendoza, who presided over the team’s final meeting Sunday at Southwoods.

Luisita, on the other hand, will parade stables Benjie Sumulong, Rodel Mangulabnan, Dan Cruz and Chino Raymundo. Abe Rosal, currently one of the national coaches under the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP), will take the place of Marty Ilagan in the roster.

“We have the top four from our PAL Interclub team and with the addition of Abe (Rosal), we hope to take the title,” said Luisita skipper Jeric Hechanova. 

Greenwater, though, might spring a surprise and could possibly be a contender with a lineup including many-time winners Tommy Manotoc and Douglas Puckett.

The seniors’ competition of the Fil-Am, regarded as the world’s largest amateur tournament, tees off November 25 at the Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay courses.