CHATPRAPA Siriprakob fired a three-under 69 to take the early lead as Princess Superal did well in her professional debut and stood just a stroke off pace on Tuesday in the Sherwood Ladies Classic in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
Siriprakob, bidding to become the fourth Thai player to win on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, hit three birdies in the first four holes then threatened to pull away with two more birdies on Nos. 9 and 11.
The Thai shotmaker, however, stumbled with a double bogey on the par-5 No. 12.
“I had a great time playing today (yesterday). I really enjoyed it and looking forward to the next two rounds,” said the 24-year-old Siriprakob, who drove into the water on No. 12th and ended up with a 7 and then holed out with a three-putt miscue on the 17th.
“It was jitters, which is but normal for debuting pros who pack so much expectations. But it won’t take time before she recovers,” said Bong Lopez, the man at the helm ICTSI ladies golf program.
Superal, the Philippine Ladies Open champion, bogeyed the first two holes but sank back-to-back birdies from Nos. 4.
She also birdied Nos. 10 and 11 before hitting a six-footer for birdie on the par-3 16th to go three-under.
The former US girls champion and winner of three LPGT events fell short on her approach shot on the long par-4 18th and made a poor chip shot for bogey and settled for a 70.
“I’m happy and satisfied with my game. But I could’ve shot lower if not for my missed birdie chances from close range,” said Superal.
“I need to adjust the speed on my putts and the game plan is to hit the fairways and greens then try to come up with more birdies,” said Superal.
Aunchisa Utama hit two birdies against a bogey for a 71, the same output put in by amateur Pauline del Rosario, who gunned down six birdies but made two double-bogeys and a bogey.
Jayvie Agojo and Lina de Guzman matched par 72s.
Cyna Rodriguez, back from a year on the LPGA Tour, shot a 73 for joint seventh with former leg winner Sarah Ababa and Thai Ajira Nualraksa.
Eva Miñoza shot a 75 for joint 10th with Anya Tanpinco, while Orchard leg winner Chihiro Ikeda had a birdie-less 76 in a tie with Thai Amolkan Phalajivin, Lovelyn Guioguio and amateur Sofia Chabon in the P750,000 tournament, the seventh leg of the LPGT put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Champion, TaylorMade, Ping, Yamaha and Pacsports.
“I had little hiccups at the backnine, had two lost balls and one in the water. But I must say it was still a good day for me,” said Phalajivin, the first Thai to win on the LPGT, topping the Splendido leg in 2014 before Wichanee Meechai followed her win at Splendido last year and Wannasiri Sirisampant ruled Southwoods.