Korean teen fires flawless 66 for men’s lead; Superal shares ladies’ pace

Korean teen fires flawless 66 for men’s lead; Superal shares ladies’ pace

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 04:10 AM April 10, 2024

Princess Superal: Three birdies and two bogeys. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Princess Superal: Three birdies and two bogeys. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

South Korea’s Tae Soo-kim, playing on a special exemption in the Philippine Golf Tour season, had everything going for him on Tuesday, shooting a flawless six-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead over Dino Villanueva in the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship, even as Princess Superal underscored her tag as the player to watch in the ladies side by sharing the opening round lead.

The 19-year-old Kim, who hardly contended in the circuit’s first two legs in Davao last month, assembled nines of 33-33 after a brilliant display of shotmaking, surprising himself with the solo lead in the process. “I didn’t expect this (to lead),” Kim said. “I struggled to [finish at par] during the practice round. I just hit a lot of fairways with my solid driving.”

Villanueva also had six birdies like Kim but dropped his only shot on the par-5 12th, even as Angelo Que Sean Ramos and Guido van der Valk returned 69s to be just three shots off, with defending champion Antonio Lascuña shooting a lukewarm 72.

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Tougher this year

Que, the former Philippine Open champion and multileg winner on the Asian Tour, said that the course played a lot tougher compared to last year, when Lascuña won with an 18-under total.

“The greens are firm, the pins are tough and the wind was blowing,” said Que, who climbed into that three-way tie with a closing birdie. “So, it’s really hard when you have those combinations.”

Superal, meanwhile, drained a 6-footer for birdie on No. 18 to join Pamela Mariano at the top of the 54-hole ladies championship, as she made it known that she will be using this tournament while on break from her commitments in Japan to win.

Two of Superal’s three birdies came in the back nine of a 37-34 effort as she totally outshone another returning star in defending champion Pauline del Rosario in the opening round.

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Del Rosario, who is also on break from the Epson Tour in the United States, fired a 73 marred by a double bogey 7 at the sixth. She went birdie-less coming home to be two shots back like Chanelle Avaricio and Mafy Singson.

Harmie Constantino fired a 72 to be one stroke off the joint leaders. INQ

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