Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fair Play: For PAL golf, it's more fun in Cebu

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan 22 edition)
BEFORE Cebu got into the picture, the prestigious and economy-boosting PAL interclub golf tournament rotated among the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Bacolod.

Thousands of golfers and their entourage would swoop down on these cities, boosting the local economy as they spend thousands on transportation, hotel, food, pasalubong and of course, “entertainment.”

In fact, one driver I met in a hotel that didn’t house any Cebu team (just to make things clear) had a specific task, to arrive with the entertainment post-match. Which is why, as veterans tell me, the one with the worst score on the course may be the one who had the most fun off it the night before.




Back in 2013, Cebu, after skipping the host duties for over a decade, hosted the event again, thanks to a move that was led by Alta Vista Golf and Country Club.

And I think the Cebuanos did the hosting job so well that PAL is coming back again, two years afer the event, for another go-around in Cebu.

They returned, as the PAL PR explained it, because of the clamor of the participants.

Of course, that’s a motherhoold statement that could explain anything from the pristine conditions of the golf courses here or the varied choices of entertainment.

Still, Cebu hosting the event means one thing, too; the Cebu Country Club-—a surprise two-time champion to some—could win the championship division at home again.

Why not? They did it in 2013 and Bayani Garcia, who becomes burly every PAL tournament, led the wild celebrations.

Can they do it again? They’ve lost a few players to the pro ranks, but knowing CCC, they probably have three replacements for every one lost.

For this year, aside from a Cebu team winning the crown, I hope a Cebuano would also win the media division, which usually offers a business-class seat for two to the US as grand prize.

Not me, of course. I still can’t hit a barn even if a date with Maria Sharapova is offered. Perhaps John Pages can dust off his golf clubs or any of the executives can suit up?

Winning it in Cebu might make it extra special.

(mikelimpag@gmail.com)

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