THE PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) Interclub will stage the diamond anniversary edition of what is regarded as the country’s unofficial golf club team championships in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon in less than three weeks using a new format in Men’s play that guarantees keener competition.

From the usual five players coming out for each team every day, tournament organizers will, for the first time, implement the four-to-play, three-to-count format that makes for more balanced action with bench depth not as big a factor as before.

“We have been thinking of that for quite a few years now, and we feel that this year is the time to implement it,” tournament director Henry Arabelo said as the Interclub gets off the ground on Feb. 22 with Seniors action where Luisita is the defending champion.

That means that both the Seniors and Men’s championships will be using the same format as Manila Southwoods aims to extend its mastery of the regular field using one of the most solid developmental programs that produced Asian champions like Angelo Que, Artemio Murakami, Jerome Delariarte and even Tom Kim in the PGA Tour.

The move makes sense as clubs will now filter their respective rosters to their eight best players, although fielding will still be key, like in past years.

Pueblo de Oro in Cagayan de Oro and the rolling gem in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon that is Del Monte will be the venues that will be used as the Interclub goes to that part of Mindanao that last hosted the event in 2011.

Regular Men’s action gets off the ground on March 1, with Del Monte expected to host the fourth days of both divisions.