Princess Superal launches her pro career on the very circuit that helped hone her craft, expecting a different kind of challenge from an elite field and pressure with money now also on the line in the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Classic beginning Tuesday at Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
“I’m happy to launch my pro career here in LPGA where I sharpened my talent and skills,” said Superal, who won three tournaments on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour and the country’s best bet as the next LPGA campaigner. “I just hope to play to my ability and give myself a chance in the final round.”
The former US Girls’ Junior champion will have her hands full right in the first day of the P750,000 event sponsored by ICTSI as she drew LPGA veteran Cyna Rodriguez and Jayvie Agojo in the featured threesome at 7:40 a.m.
Jennifer Rosales was actually scheduled to join the 54-hole championship serving as the seventh leg of this year’s circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. But the two-time LPGA winner begged off at the last minute due to personal reasons, leaving the event one less player who could complete a dream threesome among the old, new and future of Philippine ladies golf.
But with Rodriguez and four Thais in the fold, the chase for the top P150,000 purse remains wide open with Superal, who has piled a number of victories here and abroad as an amateur, eyeing to hit the jackpot right in her pro debut in the circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Champion, TaylorMade, Ping, Yamaha and Pacsports.
“The field is tough and I expect a very challenging week,” said Superal, who easily hurdled the LPGA Stage I, finishing joint second at Rancho Mirage, California last month.
She is also wary of the Thai challenge, headed by former leg winner Amolkan Phalajivin, who is out to atone for a series of mediocre showings after upending Rodriguez at LPGT Splendido Classic two years ago.
“I’m feeling better with my game now,” said Phalajivin, who honed for two months in the US. “But I’m not expecting anything, I just want to do my best every time and enjoy my time on the course.”
She also has high hopes for her compatriots, including Chatprapa Siriprakob, Aunchisa Utama and Ajira Nualraksa.
“All my Thai friends have good chances, too. They’re all long hitters so it should be a fun tournament,” said Phalajivin, who is paired with Anya Tanpinco and amateur Sofia Chabon in the 8:10 a.m. group.
Others in the fold are this year’s Orchard leg champion Chihiro Ikeda, former leg winner Sarah Ababa, Lovelyn Guioguio, Korean amateur Hwang Min-jeong, who won the LPGT Malarayat leg last year, The Country Club mainstays Pauline del Rosario and Kayla Nocum,