Princess upends 2 US foes, gains final | Inquirer Sports
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Princess upends 2 US foes, gains final

/ 03:33 AM July 27, 2014

PRINCESS Superal survived a tough quarterfinal duel with American Bethany Wu and then dominated Cindy Ha of New Jersey in the semifinals to seal a showdown with Mexico’s Marjosse Navarro for the US Girls’ Junior Championship crown at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Arizona, Friday.

Down one hole with two to go, Superal pounced on Wu’s bogey on the par-3 17th to square the match. Then after both birdied the par-5 18th, the top ICTSI-backed campaigner birdied the 19th hole—No. 1—from six feet to clinch match.

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Ranged against Ha, who ousted low medalist Angel Yin in the Round of 16, Superal, winner of several junior and amateur titles in the Asia-Pacific, took the first two holes and went 3-up at the turn before cruising to 2-up romp.

The reigning Southeast Asian Games champion actually fumbled with a bogey on No. 16, enabling Ha, a semifinalist in last week’s US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, to close within one.

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But Superal birdied the par-5 18th from four feet to ease out Ha and gain a first-ever crack at the prestigious crown.

Dottie Ardina, who now campaigns in the Symmetra Tour, lost in the finals of the 2011 tournament.

“I told myself to be positive,” said Superal, who made it to the finals with a series of strong finishes starting in the Round of 32. “I feel very happy and surprised. I really didn’t expect anything. I just did my best.”

Team ICTSI coach Bong Lopez said Superal’s dedication and determination to beat the best was admirable.

“She’s playing pretty solid golf and her confidence is sky-high,” said Lopez.

The coach expects a shootout between Superal and Navarro, both 17, in the grueling 36-hole finale.

Navarro, who gained the No. 2 seeding in the 36-hole stroke play eliminations where Superal wound up fourth, birdied No. 18 from four feet to clinch a 1-up victory over Andrea Lee in the quarterfinals. The Mexican then drained a 40-footer on the 21st hole to bundle out Aussie Shelly Shin.

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Both Superal and Navarro drew solid backup from the gallery with the Filipino ace cheered on by her teammates and fellow competitors Sofia Chabon and Yuka Saso.

The finals will be the fourth all-international final in US Girls Juniors Championship history after Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff and Inbee Park in 2003, I.K. Kim and Inbee Park in 2005, and Ariya Jutanugarn and Ardina in 2011.

By making it to the finals, Superal and Navarro also received exemptions for the US Women’s Amateur Championship set Aug. 4 to 10 in New York. With a report from USGA.org

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TAGS: 2011, final, Inbee Park, US
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