PRINCESS Superal and Pauline del Rosario both carded four-under 67s on Wednesday as the Philippines all but wrapped up its first-ever Santi Cup crown, moving 15 shots clear of arch rival Thailand in the 54th South East Asian Amateur Golf Team Championship in Brunei.
So solid was the Philippines’ third round showing that Miya Legaspi had a two-under 69 that didn’t count in the three-to-play, two-to-count format 72-hole event dominated by the Thais the last five years.
This time, the Filipinas made sure there won’t be any Thai repeat as they pooled a 54-hole total of 20-under 406 at the par-71 Empire Hotel and Country Club course.
Thailand was running second at 421 after a 141.
Singapore stood eight shots farther back at 429 after another 144 while Malaysia fumbled with a 146 for a 438 followed by Indonesia (150-443) and Brunei (175-514).
“Princess finally hit her stride and showed her potential while Pauline and Miya remained as steady as ever. Only a major disaster could stop them from finally nailing the elusive Santi Cup win,” said national team coach Bong Lopez.
Superal, the reigning US Girls Juniors champion, dished out a superb iron game to set up birdie chances inside four feet on Nos. 8, 9, 10, 12 and 17 although she failed to rescue a par off the bunker on the 18th.
Del Rosario also hit five birdies, including a tap-in on No. 11 and from 16 feet on the 16th, but stumbled with one bogey when she hit an errant drive on the 17th, punched out from under the woods and flubbed a six-footer for par.
In other fronts, however, the Philippines continued to struggle, with the defending men’s champion team still in far fourth in the Putra Cup with a 658 after a 221, 45 strokes behind Thailand, which also put the outcome beyond doubt with a 613 after a 205.
That was 23 shots ahead of Singapore, which scored a 212 for a 636 while Malaysia carded a 214 for a 640.
Justin Quiban scored a 72, while Rupert Zaragosa and Tonlits Asistio both had 73s.
Yuka Saso made a 75 while Villamor’s Harmie Constantio shot a 79 for a 154 as the Philippines stayed in fourth in the Kartini Cup with a 451, 39 shots behind.
Thailand led at 412 after a 142, while Indonesia was second at 432 after also scoring a 142.