Amateur Princess Superal proved steadier than pro Cyna Rodriguez in a backside struggle in the rain and won the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Championship by two on a closing 72, scoring a repeat of her feat last year by ruling the final leg of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour in convincing fashion.
Unlike in her John Hay romp, however, where she shot a record bogey-free 17-under total and won by eight, Superal had to toughen up in the last nine holes as Rodriguez kept pressing her bid until the latter fumbled with costly bogeys on Nos. 12 and 16 and muffed birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 15 at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martires, Cavite on Thursday.
Superal did stumble with two bogeys in a birdie-less 38 for a 72 and a 210 but Rodriguez, after matching the ace amateur’s two-under 34 at the front, fared worse with four bogeys and finished with a 39 despite a final-hole birdie for a 73 and a 212.
“My target is just to win the low amateur honors, so winning it altogether is a bonus and a big boost to my game and confidence,” said Superal, the spearhead of Team ICTSI, who wrested a one-stroke lead over Rodriguez with a 68 Wednesday and held on to it heading to the backside where they virtually matched pars on Nos. 10, 13 and 14 and bogeys on Nos. 11 and 15.
But Rodriguez mishit her drive on No. 12 in the wind and three-putted the par-3 16th. Worse, she lipped out birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 15 and fell behind by three heading to the final hole of the final leg of the eight-stage circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
“Those missed birdies could’ve changed the outcome,” said Rodriguez, who nevertheless took the top P150,000 purse and the Order of Merit crown for the second straight year with winnings of P699,000.
But the day belonged to Superal, who added the LPGT Sherwood crown to her long list of victories this year, including three titles in the Asia-Pacific tournaments, the US Girls Juniors and the Santi Cup.
Bracing for shootout with Rodriguez, Superal birdied No. 4 to go 2-up, watched her rival counter with a birdie on the sixth before matching the four-leg champion’s second birdie on the ninth for identical 34s while battling the wind and rain.
But after both players bogeyed No. 11, Superal went 2-up again as Rodriguez bogeyed the 12th and after they traded bogeys on No. 15, the former surged to a three-shot lead as the latter three-putted from 14 feet.
Three amateurs took the next three spots with Seong Eun Jeong of Korea placing third at 214 after a 73, and ICTSI teammates Pauline del Rosario and Yuka Saso finishing fourth and fifth with 73-216 and 72-218, respectively.
Chihiro Ikeda limped with a 76 for a 222 for sixth but still bagged the runner-up prize worth P95,000 while amateurs Harmie Constantino and Sam Martirez ended up with identical 75s for seventh and eighth, respectively.
Jayvie Agojo, winner of the Riviera leg of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp, rallied with a 74 and finished ninth overall at 229 but took the third prize of P60,000, while Korean amateur carded a 77 and placed 10th at 230.