PRINCESS Superal wavered coming home and settled for a share of the lead with Thai Benyapa Niphatsopon after shooting a 70 at the start of the inaugural Kids Golf World Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday.
Superal, seeking a follow-up to her Melaka Am title romp, also in Malaysia month, hit four birdies at the back in stirring fashion and went five-under with another tap-in birdie on the second. But the top ICTSI-The Country Club shotmaker nearly blew her sterling effort at the Glenmarie Golf Club with bogeys on Nos. 4, 6 and 7.
She salvaged two pars in the last two holes and dropped to a tie with Niphatsopon, who beat her for the Thailand Amateur crown last October.
“She was playing quite well until she lost her touch and made a three-putt bogey on the sixth,” said ICTSI team coach Carmelette Villaroman.
The duo took a six-shot lead over Malaysia’s Celine Lim while Indonesia’s Indira Putri was way behind with a 78 in the girls’ 15-16 age group.
Jose Emmanuel Sajulga strung up a 32-35 round for a 67 as he grabbed a two-stroke lead over Malaysian Bryan Wiyang in the boys’ 12 division of the tournament serving as the international version of the US Kids Golf.
Superal, also the winner of this year’s Malaysia Juniors, knocked down long birdies on Nos. 10 (24 feet) and 13 (16 feet) then rammed in two eight-footers on Nos. 14 and 18 before tapping for birdie on the first hole.
Meanwhile, heavy rains forced the suspension of play in the girls’ 17-18 class with ICTSI team’s Sarah Ababa finishing just two holes.
In the girls’ 13-14 category, Samantha Martinez carded a 77 for joint fifth with Siti Shaari of Malaysia, seven shots behind Thai Kanyalak Preedasuttijit, who fired a 70 for a one-stroke lead over local bet Kelie Yan.
Kristine Torralba struggled with an 87 and stood 13 strokes off Thai Kornkamol Sukaree, who made a 74, in the girls’ 12 class while Sunshine Zhang scored 43 and stood just two behind Jeneath Wong of Malaysia in girls’ 8 category.