SOUTHEAST Asian Games (SEA Games) gold medal winner Princess Superal battled from five strokes down and nipped a fading Kanyalak Preedasuttijit of Thailand in the countback, closing out with a fiery four-under 68 to snatch the Jakarta Junior World Championship crown at the Damai Indah Golf Club BSD course in Indonesia late Friday.
Superal birdied two of the last four holes to string a 34-34 card then watched Preedasuttijit crack under pressure and bogey the par-5 18th to force a tie at 215 after 54 holes in the premier Class A division.
The Thai ace, who grabbed the lead with a 68 in the second round, hobbled with a 73.
But the top ICTSI-backed bet took the crown as she edged Preedasuttijit in the countback based on the last 18 holes, completing Team ICTSI’s sweep of two titles following Yuka Escalora Saso’s runaway victory in Class C earlier.
“Cess never gave up. She knew she had a chance despite falling behind by five,” said Team ICTSI coach Bong Lopez of her prized ward, who also ruled the Kuala Lumpur and Royal Selangor Amateur Open earlier this year.
Superal, who reeled back with a 75 and fell by five behind Preedasuttijit in the second round, remained five shots back with nine holes to go as the Thai matched her two-under 34 card at the turn.
But she birdied No. 12 and gained a two-shot swing with another birdie on No. 15 which Preedasuttijit bogeyed.
Sustaining her momentum, Superal birdied the 17th to move within one and Preedasuttijit cracked under pressure when she bogeyed the 18th which she birdied in the first round.
“My putting just clicked and I took advantage of Kanyalak’s shaky finish. It’s a nice feeling to win again,” said the 17-year-old Superal, who bagged the individual gold and led Team Philippines to the SEA Games gold in Myanmar last year.
Saso, 12, took the Class C title in big fashion as she ran away with an 11-shot romp with a three-under 69 and a 216 to beat another Thai Rina Tatematsu, who finished with a 227 after a 73.
Sam Martirez finished joint ninth at 226 after a 75, while Abby Arevalo made a 78 and ended up 11th with a 227 in the 15-17 age bracket.
Rupert Zaragosa finished third in boys’ Class A with a 287 after a 75, three shots behind Japan’s Ryo Toyoyama, who had a 284 after a 68, nipping Thia Thanakorn Torsee, who had a 70, in the countback.