DAVAO CITY – Leandro Bagtas remains a typical 12-year-old who plays video games and feasts on cheese burgers and pizza.
But on the golf course, the five-foot seven son of former pro Eddie Bagtas packs a wallop off the tee.
On the eve of the 70th Philippine Airlines Interclub golf team championships, the younger Bagtas shot six-over par 78 from the back tee at the Palos Rancho Verde on the final day of official practice.
“He’s excited to play with me as members of Luisita,” said Eddie who helped his team win the seniors title last week.
It marks the second time father and son will play for the same team since Tommy Manotoc played with son Gab for Wack Wack a few years ago.
Leandro is one of the youngest players to grace the Interclub that has seen the rise of the brat pack in recent years.
Manila Southwoods, the odds-on favourite to win the title for the third straight year, has eight players under-20, led by in-form Yuto Katsugawara, 18.
Aside from Leandro, Luisita has four other players 18 years and below. They are Dan Cruz, 18; Guilbert Purcia, 15; Josh Jorge, 14; and Alexi Garzon, 13.
“We hope to keep this team in the next five years in the hope of building a champion team,” said Luisita non-playing captain Jeric Hechanova.
Hechanova, however, concedes that dethroning Manila Southwoods is close to impossible.
“They virtually have all the young top amateurs,” he said.
The Interclub gets going Wednesday with Manila Southwoods, Luisita, Canlubang and Del Monte clashing in the championship division at the Apo Golf and Country Club.
After Apo, the four teams will play at the Palos Rancho Verde in the next two rounds before returning to the Apo for the final round on Saturday.
A total of 80 teams, divided into five divisions, are seeing action in the annual tournament sponsored by Mareco Broadcasting Network, A&E Networks Asia, RMN Networks, The Manila Standard, Fox Networks Group, Rolls-Royce, TV5, MasterCard, TFC and Business Mirror.
Major sponsors include Asian Air Safari, Airbus, Primax Broadcasting Network and Sabre Airline Solutions while Corporate sponsors are Baron Travel Corporation, Boeing, MX3, GE Aviation, Bombo Radyo Philippines, Asia Brewery, Tanduay Distillers, Sabre Airline Solutions and Tourism Promotions Board.
The donors are Shangri-La at The Fort, Trinity Insurance and Eton Properties. (REY BANCOD)