Superal, Saso power Phl to 2nd



HONG KONG – Princess Superal and Yuka Saso wavered at the finish and carded identical 73s but the Philippines still took runner-up honors in the Queen Sirikit Cup topped by powerhouse South Korea in runaway fashion at the Hong Kong Golf Club’s New Course here Friday.

Superal, who rebounded from an opening 73 in rain-suspended first round with a 69 Thursday, lost her momentum after a birdie-birdie binge from No. 11 as she missed the greens on Nos. 15 and 18 for bogeys and flubbed a five-foot birdie putt on the 16th for a 36-37 card.

After a 79 and 77 in the first two rounds, Saso went two-under after 16 holes but three-putted the par-3 17th and made a double-bogey on the 18th after a poor bunker shot that dropped her ball back to the trap.

Still, those 73s and a 146 proved enough for Team Phl to snatch second at 436 as the Pinay golfers edged erstwhile joint second running Japan and host Hong Kong, which floundered with 148 and 151, respectively.

Pauline del Rosario, who backed Superal’s 73 and 69 with two 74s in the first two days, skied to a 78 and didn’t count.

Korea, which beat China by six in Malaysia last year and dominated the premier Asia-Pacific ladies team event from 2007-2012, posted a more impressive record this year, assembling a 54-total of 422 after a 141, 14 shots ahead of the Philippines, whose campaign was sanctioned by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines (WGAP) and sponsored by ICTSI.

Superal, tied for second in individual play and just two strokes behind Park Hyun Kyung after two rounds, moved to within one off the Korean ace after birdying Nos. 11 and 12. But the top ICTSI-The Country Club bet’s late bogeys doomed her chances to clinch solo second as she dropped to third with a 215.

Park also ran away with the individual crown with a 69 and a 209 while teammate Jang Eun Soo pounced on Superal’s foldup and completed a 1-2 finish by the Koreans with a 213 after a 72.

Del Rosario finished with a 226 for joint 20th while Saso ended up tied for 29th at 229.

New Zealand, with Fil-Kiwi Julianne Alvarez firing a 69, rallied with a 71 and snatched third place honors in team play with a 437, dropping Japan to fourth at 438 after a 148 while a young Thailand team ended up fifth at 439 after a 145 followed by Hong Kong (151-441), Chinese-Taipei (148-446), Indonesia (151-446), China (149-447), 2013 champion Australia (157-448), Malaysia (147-449), India (156-454) and next month’s SEA Games host Singapore (152-455).


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