Superal nears record win after solid 64
BAGUIO, Philippines - – Princess Superal continued to play like a pro, dishing out another solid five-under 64 to blow away the field with a near-insurmountable eight-shot lead over Chihiro Ikeda and fellow amateur Pauline del Rosario in the second round of the ICTSI Camp John Hay Ladies Philippine Golf Tour here yesterday.
Though there were no eagles gunned down after shooting two in the first round Tuesday, neither there were bogeys made for the second straight day as the top ICTSI-backed bet moved in the threshold of becoming the first amateur to win on the inaugural ladies pro tour.
“I’m playing great but even with the lead, it’s not yet over. I will still try to finish strong tomorrow (today),” said Superal.
Perhaps even a so-so windup would be enough for her to post the record win as her 14-under 124 aggregate put her way ahead of the field heading to the final 18 holes of the P500,000 event serving as the final leg of the five-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
She bucked pin placements tucked near the edges, hitting five birdies inside seven feet, the last on the par-3, 153-yard No. 15 beside the John Hay clubhouse where she hacked a superb 6-iron tee shot that sailed over the rolling fairway and bunkers and rested eight feet off the target.
Superal nodded meekly as she acknowledged the cheers from the gallery, which witnessed another flawless round from the 16-year-old lass who went without a bogey for 36 holes on a course that punishes wayward shots.
Superal had her shares of mishits but each time, she came through with big recoveries, including on Nos. 4 and 9 from eight feet.
Ikeda, the former SEA Games champion, failed to mount any serious challenge after trailing by just four in the opener and missed seizing solo second with a bogey on the 17th for a 68, enabling Del Rosario, who sizzled at the finish for a second 66, to tie her at 132, eight shots off Superal.
While majority of the pros continued to struggle on the short but tricky layout made tougher by difficult pin placements, Superal kept making the course look easy with her brilliant play from tee to green, along with four other amateurs, who also continued to dish out top form in another windless day.
Del Rosario, a Junior World champion (13-14), went five-under in the last five holes – capped by an eagle on the par-5 17th. She actually sparked his fiery windup with a tap-in birdie on No. 12 then strung up three straight birdies from No. 14 from long range then rolled in a 16-footer on No. 17 off a 5-wood second shot from 200 yards.
What made her finish impressive was that the 15-year-old De La Salle-Zobel and Team ICTSI mainstay came from a double-par mishap on the par-3, 145-yard No. 11 where she mishit a 7-iron tee-shot to the deep right side of the green and needed three more shots to get on.
Mikaela Fortuna, the other young member of Team ICTSI, Jayvie Agojo and another amateur Sam Bruce, who all carded 72s in the first round, turned in similar 67s to remain tied at 139 while Cyna Rodriguez, who swept the ICTSI Eagle Ridge and Wack Wack legs in runaway fashions, recovered from a 73 start with a 69 although she stood way behind at 142, 18 shots off Superal.
Thai invitee Amolkan Phalajivin, who made quite an impression with an opening 68, skied to a 75 and tumbled down to joint eight with Lucy Landicho, who also had a 75, at 143 while amateur Abby Arevalo hobbled with a 74 after a 70 and slid to 10th at 144.
Though way behind Superal, Ikeda vowed to go for broke and apply the pressure early on the two-day leader, hopeful to finally find the putting touch that had slowed down her charge in the first two days of the event sponsored by ICTSI and backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers,
“There are still 18 holes left, it can still be done. I’ll make a charge tomorrow (today) and I hope to find my putting touch,” said Ikeda, who hit just three birdies against two bogeys while missing three birdie chances inside five feet.
Meanwhile, Lina de Guzman teamed up with Bong Mangaoang, Romy Tio and Nestor Pablo as they fired a 23-under 46 to rule the pro-am tournament Monday and pocket the top prize of IPad Mini while Eva Miñoza, with teammates Manny Solis, Pol Mayos and Ed Montenegro placed second with a 47 for ASUS Android Tablet while Thai Amolkan Phalajivin, along with Stanley Dangatan, Nic Ventura and Tony Fernandez, scored a 49 to finish third worth a Sony Digital camera.