HONG KONG – Princess Superal came out unruffled by the wind and shot a three-under 69, lifting Team Philippines from joint sixth to a share of second with a 143 as powerhouse South Korea pulled away with a 141 in the second round of the Queen Sirikit Cup at the Hong Kong Golf Club’s New Course in Fanling here Thursday.
The weather improved from Wednesday’s rain suspended round but the compact field had to gut it out at completion of play early morning and in the second round as the wind blew from all over that saw majority of the players struggling with club selection.
In fact, only six from the 39 players broke par with Superal turning in the second-best fashioned out behind superb shotmaking and solid iron play. Together with Pauline del Rosario’s second 74, the Phl assembled a 36-hole aggregate of 290, nine strokes behind Korea, which shot a 141 as Park Hyun Kyung fired a second 70 for a 281 in the three-to-play, two-to-count format event, also known as the Asia-Pacific Ladies Team Golf Championship.
So solid were the defending champions that their two other players – Jang Eun Soo and Lee Joung Eun, scored identical one-under 71s, one of which didn’t count that could’ve already anchored a team.
But Superal’s 69 put the ICTSI-The Country Club team spearhead to within two of Park at 142 in the race for the individual championship although Jang and Lee are in joint second at 141.
“I could’ve shot lower but missed two birdie putts from close range,” said Superal. “But it’s a good score given the wind condition. I’ll just try to play better tomorrow (today) and hope for the best.”
Yuka Saso, the third player in Team Phl whose campaign is sanctioned by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines (WGAP) and sponsored by ICTSI, struggled all day with her irons and failed to count with a 77.
Other 290 scorers were Japan, which leaned on Minami Hiruta’s day-best 67 to shoot a 142, and Hong Kong, which limped with a 151 after a surprise 139 in the opener.
Australia, winner in 2013 in Taiwan, had a 144 for a 291 while Thailand hobbled with a 150 after a 144 for a 294 followed by Indonesia (149-295), New Zealand (151-296), Chinese-Taipei (146-298), China (150-298), India (151-298), Malaysia (154-302) and Singapore (147-303).
Superal, the reigning US Girls Junior champion, parred the last two holes at resumption of the first round and signed a one-over 73 then buckled down to work at No. 12, which served as their first hole in the second round after WGAP officials, led by new president Anna Haurie and treasurer and team captain Cora Suntay, insisted that the Pinay golfers be allowed to start early after a late tee-off Wednesday.
They got what they wanted but only Superal got into the scoring act as Del Rosario, who made an eagle-birdie feat from No. 14 and parred the last three holes at resumption to salvage a 74 in the first round, also groped for form in the wind, overshooting a number of greens and failing to rescue pars from the bunkers two and missing a downhiller from five feet on No. 11.
Superal also rued her two flubbed birdie bids that could’ve propel the Phl to solo second, including one on No. 7 off a solid approach shot that landed within five feet.