PRINCESS Superal sank a 12-foot birdie on the first playoff hole to complete a dream pro debut in the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Classic on Thursday in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
The 19-year-old Superal lost an early two-stroke lead, fell two behind but rallied for a 72 to join the playoff, where she beat Thai golfers Aunchia Utama and Ajira Nualraksa and Filipina amateur star Pauline del Rosario.
The Philippine Ladies Open champion fell back on a lost ball on No. 12 but hit a clutch birdie on No. 16 at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club.
“I feel very happy. Though I missed a couple of putts early, I still found a way to win,” said Superal, receiving her first pro trophy and check worth P150,000
“This win means a lot to me. I really did my best to win.”
Superal is also preparing for Stage II of the LPGA Qualifying School after finishing joint second in Stage I.
The quartet finished at four-under 212.
Utama fought back from four down to tie Del Rosario on top with back-to-back birdies from No. 14 but bogeyed the 17th and finished with a 68.
Nualraksa wrested the lead with a solid 32 start but dropped three strokes in the first two holes at the back and needed to birdie No. 15th to shoot a 70.
Del Rosario worked her way up with a stirring birdie-birdie-eagle feat from No. 12, moving from three-down to two-up and appeared headed for a romp with four holes to go. But she hit an errant drive on No. 18, struggled to reach the green and wound up with bogey for a 69, setting the stage for a four-player playoff.
Superal picked herself up in sudden death, back on No. 18, coming away with two brilliant shots, then hitting that gem of a putt that shattered Nualraksa’s confidence as the Thai lost her poise and missed from eight feet.
After birdying three of the first five holes to go 2-up, Superal lost her rhythm and made back-to-back bogeys from No. 5. She dropped another stroke on No. 11 and bogeyed the par-5 12th after losing her ball on a wild drive to the right.
“But I told myself to relax and take in one shot at a time and luckily, I was able to regain by bearing and confidence after I birdied No. 16,” said Superal, who now has four Ladies Philippine Golf Tour titles after winning three as an amateur.
Utama and Nualraksa split the combined second and third prizes worth P155,000, in the 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI and backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Champion, TaylorMade, Ping, Yamaha and Pacsports.