AMATEUR Princess Superal outshone the pros once more, claiming the ICTSI Wack Wack Ladies Invitational crown by beating Order of Merit champion Cyna Rodriguez in a playoff on Thursday at Wack Wack’s West course.
Superal knocked down a solid 8-iron approach shot from 130 yards to within five feet on the par-4 No. 18 then watched Rodriguez dump her shot into the greenside bunker and blast to over 30 feet off the cup.
Superal clinched the title with a two-putt par.
“I’m so happy to win it. I had near misses to clinch it outright in regulation but I never lost my focus and confidence that I could win this one,” said Superal, who won the US Girls Juniors crown last year.
Tied with Thailand's Wichanee Meechai and Chihiro Ikeda after 36 holes, Superal built a two-stroke lead with back-to-back birdies from No. 3 but reeled back with bogeys on Nos. 7 and 9.
Superal flubbed a five-footer for birdie on No. 17 that could’ve given her the lead and missed clinching the title outright when her putt from 25 feet out on the last hole was short. She wound up with a third straight 72 for a 216.
Rodriguez had a third-round four-under 68 highlighted by four birdies on the back nine.
“Coach Bong (Lopez) told me before the round that I should stay focused, not to be intimidated by the pros and make the most of the opportunity,” said Superal.
While Superal took the pro crown, her third after her record Baguio romp in 2013 and her Sherwood feat last year, Rodriguez pocketed the top P100,000 purse in the third leg of the eight-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Thailand’s Saraporn Chamchoi bogeyed the 18th and settled for a 69 and 217 for joint third.
Chihiro Ikeda shot a 74 and ended up solo fifth at 218.
Apple Fudolin, just one shot off the three leaders with 18 holes to play, stood within striking distance with a birdie on No. 13 but faded with back-to-back bogeys from No. 15, hobbling with a 75 and dropping to joint sixth at 220 with Korean amateur Eu Na Koh, who carded a 74.
Amateur Pauline del Rosario shot a 74 and finished solo eighth at 224, while Jayvie Agojo fired a 71 to share ninth at 225 with Lovelynn Guioguio (72) and Sarah Ababa (73) in the tournament sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.