BAGUIO CITY – Fourteen years ago, the seniors division and a two week Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament started. On Nov. 28, a third division is in the offing with the super seniors for 70 year old and above players will be bunched together.
“That is why there is no Flight H in the regular divisions,” said rules committee member Roanne Galicia of co-host Baguio Country Club.
The “elderlies” will be part of the more than 1,200 golfers seeing action in the two week tournament which BCC and neighbor Camp John Hay will host from Nov. 28 to Dec. 15.
In 2004, the Fil-Am introduced the seniors division of the Fil-Am golf during the 55th edition that is open to 55 years old and above.
Among the first entry was Tommy Manotoc, winner of several Fil-championship titles but has then given way to younger players among them Jay Bayron and Juvic Pagunsan, who led the Nike team to the Fil Championship crown in 2004 and 2005.
“It is their time, so I’d rather coach them and just play in the seniors side,” Manotoc said during an interview in 2004.
BCC has also introduced a cart path in its par 61 golf course to help out the senior golfers, although half will be completed when tee time starts.
“We are still finalizing the entries since many are seeking for slots and we cannot accommodate them,” said Andrew Pinero of the executive committee and Fil-Am spokesman.
“It just shows that we live by its hype that we are the oldest and biggest golf tournament in the world,” added the former television anchor of a local cable TV.
Slated to start on Nov. 28, the two –week tournament for senior and regular is expected to see the top amateur players in four round of action.
It will also see the debut of the super senior division that will join the seniors and regular F and G flights during the first round on Nov. 28 until Dec. 6.
Practice rounds for said flights are slated from Nov. 28 until 30, with the captains meeting scheduled on the 28th and the ceremonial tee on the 30th at both courses.
Games for said flights will start on December 1 until 6.
The regular Championship to flight E starts on Dec. 7 with the practice rounds until the 9th where second ceremonial tee also slated. Games start on Dec. 10 until 15.
Last year, Luisita Golf and Country Club swept the Seniors Championship flight by 30 and 10 points over their nearest rivals Southwoods and CJH in Fil and Am divisions, respectively.
It was a good year for the Tarlac parbusters after winning the PAL Interclub, the other big amateur tournament.
Manila Southwoods, meanwhile, swept the Fil and Am Championship in regular competition.
Sixteen year old Joo Hyung Kim closed with a two under 59 for 38 points to not just lead the Carmona, Cavite based parbusters to win the centerpiece Fil Championship but also the individual plum beating Forest Hill’s Jude Eustaquio through countback. The Forest Hill golf manager had a closing round even par 61 for 36 points.
Southwoods Am squad had a 50 point victory. PML