PRINCESS Superal expects a tough challenge from a compact field as she aims to extend her hot streak in the 21st W Express RVF Cup Amateur Golf Championship, which gets going on Tuesday (February 9) at the Canlubang Golf and Country Club’s North course in Laguna.
But Superal, the former US Girls’ Junior champion, hopes to live up to the hype and extend her streak to seven after nipping The Country Club teammate Pauline del Rosario and Yuka Saso to annex her maiden Philippine Ladies Open crown at Tagaytay Highlands two weeks ago.
“Keeping a win run going has added to the pressure of playing at a higher level in each tournament. But coach Bong (Lopez) keeps on telling us to stay focused and polish our putting,” said Superal, who closed out 2015 with four victories in Malaysia, Singapore and Jakarta before dominating the Hong Kong Ladies Amateur Open last month.
Harmie Constantino, the reigning Philippine Amateur Stroke Play champion, looms as Superal’s biggest threat in the 72-hole championship sponsored by W Express and held in honor of the late golf patron Rod Feliciano, who also served as president of the organizing National Golf Association of the Philippines, along with TCC teammates Mikha Fortuna, Sam Martirez and Bernice Ilas-Olivarez.
Koreans Jang Yun Ji, Yang Ju Young and Hyun Ji Rho take the cudgels for last year’s winner Choi Ye Rim, while Indonesian Rivan Sihotang is also in the fold along with local bets Isabela Miravite, Kristine Torralba, Ashia Nocum, Junia Gabasa and Weifang Gao, ensuring a fierce battle for the crown in the event conducted by NGAP and serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, PLDT and Metro Pacific Investment Corp. and Canlubang Golf and Country Club.
Keen competition is also seen in the men’s championship with Rupert Zaragosa seeking his third straight crown against a field toughened up by the presence of a number of Koreans and Japanese players.
Zaragosa held off Andres Saldaña by two to notch his first W Express RVF title in 2014 then thwarted Korean Kim in Jae last year.
Out to spoil his three-peat bid are Kang Dong Guk, Jeong Hwi Gyeong, Lee Geon and Jun John of South Korea along with Koji Yasuma and Ryu Yasuma of Japan, Indonesian Kevin Akbar and local bets Justin Quiban, Raymart Tolentino, Jelbert Gamolo, Ira Alido, Kristoffer Arevalo, Wei Wei gao and Carlo Villaroman.