Superal now 2 off Korean
Holding fort on another demanding day, Korean Hwang Ye-nah used a scorching start to fend off surging Filipino amateur star Princess Superal yesterday and retain a two-shot lead heading into today’s final 18 holes of the $75,000 ICTSI Ladies Open at Southlinks.
Hwang drained seven birdies on the way to matching Superal’s bogey-free six-under-par 66 as they made it a two-way race for the championship of the event that is part of the tough Taiwan Ladies PGA calendar.
A winner of a 36-hole event in the Dream Tour last year, the fragile-looking, 21-year-old Hwang birdied five of her first six holes—including four straight from No. 3—to highlight a 31-35 card for a 134 aggregate.
While Superal didn’t drop a shot all day despite the blustery winds that bedeviled many of Hwang’s first-round pursuers, her round wasn’t at all rosy.
The 18-year-old, who will be out of the Philippine team that will defend two gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in June (See separate story), scrambled all day, hitting just 11 greens in regulation.
“My putting bailed me out,” said Superal after needing just 23 putts for nines of 32-34 that had her canning birdies on four of her first seven holes. “I still had difficulty finding the greens and it was good that I scrambled well.”
When Superal did find the greens, she was nailing putts from as long as 16 feet, preventing Hwang from breaking away.
“I want it (title),” said Hwang in halting English when reminded of her potential shootout with Superal in the final ro und.
“Two shots will not be difficult to overcome,” Superal said. “But it would still depend on how we both play. I need to start well.”
Jennifer Rosales, the US LPGA star seeing action on local soil for the first time in 18 years, fell victim to the alley-like fairways, losing a total of six tee shots to the tall rough on the way to an 81 that took her out of contention.
Mia Piccio, the Filipino who was tied for the lead with Hwang after the first round, shot herself in the foot with a 74 to trail by eight shots, with Thailand’s Kanphanitnan Muang-khumsakul running third at 141 after a 69 in the event presented by Champion and backed by Nike, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.
Yuka Saso, Superal’s teammate in the rock-solid ICTSI stable, matched par for 143 and was the last player with a sub-par card. Cyna Rodriguez shot a 73 to be at 145, one ahead of American Tiffany Tavee, who skied to a 76.
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