HONG KONG—Princess Superal dished out fine form coming off a long break, shooting a two-under 70 and tying local ace Tiffany Chan for the lead at the start of the Hong Kong Ladies Amateur Open at the HK Golf Club in Fanling here yesterday.
Three birdies at the back negated a missed green bogey on No. 14 and put Superal in step with the reigning World University Games gold medalist, who also won a pro tournament in Taiwan last year, and in early contention for the championship in the 54-hole event originally set last September but was moved to this year due to inclement weather.
“I missed a couple of birdie putts at the front but made some good reads at the back,” said Superal, who racked up four victories abroad to wrap up the 2015 season. “I hope to get better in the next two rounds but I also expect some tough challenge from the rest of the field.”
Pauline del Rosario missed joining her The Country Club teammate and Chan in the lead with a three-putt miscue on No. 17 as the reigning Thailand Ladies Amateur and Singha Thailand Junior World champion settled for a 71 in calm condition at the HKGC’s New Course.
Sam Martirez, the other TCC bet and winner of the Kids World Malaysia crown last month, fumbled with a four-over 76 and would need a couple of low rounds to contend for the crown in the tournament which stakes a spot in the HK Ladies Open, a pro event, this June.
Superal, who has also won a couple of pro titles back home, brandished superb iron shots in the early going but struggled on the surface in an early clash with Chan and another local bet Ying Lai but drilled in birdies on Nos. 11 and 13 to take command.
The former US Girls’ Junior champion, however, missed the 14th green and muffed a seven-footer for par but rebounded with another birdie on the next before watching Chan hit one late birdie to fall into a the lead.
Del Rosario actually set the early pace with a two-birdie, one-bogey stint after nine holes but the De La Salle-Zobel standout went on a roller-coaster ride at the back, birdying Nos. 11 and 14 but dropping shots on the 10th and 17th.
“Pau could’ve forced a three-way tie but misread her putt on No. 17. But she’s okay and I expect her to rebound in the next two rounds,” said TCC coach Nestor Mendoza.