By Rey Bancod
BACOLOD CITY – Kristoffer Arevalo negotiated the tricky Binitin course without a single bogey and added two birdies as defending champion Southwoods padded its lead to 23 points halfway through the 71st Philippine Airlines Interclub golf team championships Friday.
Arevalo, a former world junior champion, posted 38 points and got solid support from Carl Corpus (35), Adric Chan (33) and Tom Kim (33) as the Carmona-based squad collected 139 for 279 overall.
Luisita failed to keep up with powerhouse Southwoods, settling for 128 points and 256 total.
Eddie Bagtas and Benjie Sumulong, members of the victorious seniors squad, paced the Tarlac-based squad with 34 points apiece.
Luisita also drew 31 points from Sean Jean Ramos and 29 from either Luis Miguel Guerrero or Jingy Tuason.
With Southwoods pulling away, Canlubang made the battle for second place interesting after pooling 131 points behind Jolo Magcalayo’s 41 points.
Magcalayo made seven birdies against two bogeys for the tournament’s best score so far.
Other Canlubang scorers were Luis Miguel Castro 33 and Carlo Villaroman 29. The 28 of either Lester Lagman or Josef Perry Bucay counted.
Only six points separate Luisita and Canlubang going into the weekend play.
Del Monte remained in fourth spot with 232 after a 122. Scoring for the Bukidnon team were Romeo Jaraula 34, Noel Langamin 33, Roroy Minoza 29 and Rolando Breguente.
Despite the big lead, Southwoods captain Thirdy Escano said there are still many holes left to be played.
“We missed our target by a single point, but we’re happy nevertheless,” said Escano. “As long as we stick on our gameplan, we should be fine.”
Escano said he would field the same lineup when the third round is played again at Binitin Saturday.
Meanwhile, Wack Wack seized the lead in the Founders division after amassing 121 points at Marapara.
Wack Wack has a two-round total of 232, 11 points ahead of Forest Hills and Cebu Country Club.
Forest Hills managed only 106 points while CCC garnered 115 points.
In the Aviator, the top three teams are Negros Occidental (115-220), Sherwood Hills (107-209) and Sta. Elena (121-209).
This year’s Interclub’s Platinum sponsors this year are RMN and Manila Times, while major sponsors are Mastercard, The Philippine Manila Standard, Rolls Royce, Bombardier, TV5, Primax, BusinessWorld, Crossover and Fox.
Other sponsors include Boeing, PAGCOR, Belmonte Hotel, Eton Properties and Asia Brewery, Inc.