PRINCESS Superal is off to a solid start to the new year, firing a two-under 70 to take a share of the lead in the first round of the Hong Kong Ladies Amateur Open on Wednesday at the HK Golf Club in Fanling.
The young Filipina golfer hit three birdies on the back nine against a missed green bogey on No. 14.
She shares the top spot with reigning World University Games gold medalist Tiffany Chan for the lead in the tournament that stakes a spot in the HK Ladies Open, a pro event in June.
“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 in 2015.
“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 hit a three-putt miscue on No. 17 as the reigning Thailand Ladies Amateur and Singha Thailand Junior World champion settled for a 71.
Sam Martirez, the other TCC bet and winner of the Kids World Malaysia crown last month, fumbled with a four-over 76.
Superal, who has also won two tournaments on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, brandished hit 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 birdie on the next before watching Chan hit one late birdie to fall into a tie for the lead.
Del Rosario hit two birdies and a bogey on the first nine before trading two birdies for two bogeys on the back nine.
“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.