ANTIPOLO – Thai Supamas Sangchan pounced on Princess Superal’s errant iron play and driving in the early going and turned an anticipated shootout into a romp despite a closing 73, winning by four and retaining the 2014 Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship on Friday.
Two-up on Superal at the start of the final round, Sangchan gained another stroke right on the first hole despite a bogey mishap at the wind-raked Forest Hills Golf and Country Club as the ace Filipina bet mishit her approach shot into the hazard and wound up with a double bogey.
It was cruise control for the Thai shotmaker from there as Superal lost her cool and rhythm and self-destructed with a triple-bogey on No. 5 with another errant drive before three-putting, enabling Sangchan to race to a six-shot lead at the turn.
Not even an eagle on No. 10 could spark a backside rally for Superal as the Thai came through with routine pars to fend off any threat and complete a one-over card for a 54-hole aggregate of 214.
“I’m happy to win the Phl Ladies Open again,” said Sangchan, who had to endure six extra holes and a hostile crowd to upend Dottie Ardina in last year’s finals at Mt. Malarayat.
She again faced tremendous pressure from the reigning SEA Games individual gold medalist and the local gallery but held her poise all throughout to become the first Thai to score back-to-back wins in the event presented by Champion Infinity and organized by Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines.
“I tried my best but Supamas played well. My short game was a bit off and I struggled with my driving in the early going,” said Superal, who wound up with a 75 and a 218.
It was a rare poor finish by the 16-year-old Superal, who had marked her string of victories last year in come-from-behind fashions. She was poised to pull off another comeback after a poor opening of 75 with a fiery 68 Thursday but failed to rebound from a disastrous start and spent the day chasing Sangchan.
Daniella Uy struck back with a two-under 70 on another windy day to salvage joint third with Thais Pannarat Thanapoonbolyaras and Sherman Santiwiwattanaphong, who both matched par 72s.
Pauline del Rosario, who led the crack international field with a solid 68 in the first round, failed to bounce back from a second 76 as she limped with a 78 for sixth at 222.
Malaysian Michelle Koh carded a 74 for a 223 for seventh, Sukapan Budsabakorn, also of Thailand, wound up eighth at 224 after a 71, while Harmie Constantino shot a 75 for a 225 for ninth and Bianca Pagdanganan had a 76 and 226 for 10th.