HONG KONG – Princess Superal rode on a fiery finish at the front to wrest control then out-steadied Tiffany Chan in a tense-filled backside duel to fashion out a four-stroke victory over Mimi Ho on a closing six-under 66 in the Hong Kong Ladies Amateur Open at the HK Golf Club’s New Course in Fanling here Friday.
Superal leaned on a crucial two-shot swing on No. 15 to go four-up over Chan then took the crown in emphatic fashion with a birdie-birdie windup that drew cheers from the gallery for her best round in the 54-hole world ranking event, beating a rallying Ho, who fired a 67, by four on a 205 aggregate.
“It was a tough win. I just hung in there and made some clutch putts,” said Superal, who birdied three of the last four holes at the front to go from one down to two-up en route to victory, her fifth straight counting her two wins in Malaysia and one each in Singapore and Jakarta the last two months.
With Chan, No. 16 in the current world amateur ranking, fading in the face of Superal’s superb finish, Ho came from behind to snatch runner-up honors at 209 with the former ending up third at 211 despite an eagle-spiked 72.
Michelle Cheung, also of Hong Kong, also shot a 67 to tie compatriot Isabelle Leung, who carded a 73, at 214 while Superal’s teammate and reigning Thailand Amateur champion Pauline del Rosario turned in a 72 for sixth at 218.
Sam Martirez, the other TCC bet in the event, wound up at joint 11th at 229 after a 75.
“She’s in control of her game and has been working hard on her putting to reach her current form,” said The Country Club coach Bong Lopez of her prized ward, way down at No. 174 in the world who actually won the 2015 HK Am crown, this being originally scheduled last September but was moved to this week due to bad weather.
Unable to shake off the long-hitting Chan, who eagled No. 9 to stay within two after nine holes, the former US Girls’ Junior champion matched the local’s ace’s pars and birdie in the first five holes at the back then came through with a clutch six-foot birdie putt off a solid approach shot on No. 15 to pull away by four as Chan missed her target from close range then three-putted.
That big two-shot swing was all Superal needed to secure the victory she capped with that blazing birdie-birdie finish inside 10 feet.
“It’s nice to win again and it’s a big morale-boost heading to the Philippine Ladies Open later this month,” said Superal, referring to the country’s premier championship slated Jan. 22-25 at Tagaytay Midlands.
Tied with the Filipina ace after two rounds at five-under overall, Chan birdied the opening hole to take charge only to reel with poor putting. She three-putted the second hole, birdied the next but dropped two strokes on the par-3 No . 4 on four putts.
Superal parred the first three holes and bogeyed the fourth after missing the green to remain tied at four-under total. After both parred No. 5, Superal hit two solid approach shots in the next two for birdies to seize a two-shot lead as Chan settled for pars and went three-up after the latter stumbled with another three-putt miscue on No. 8.
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