Pinay golfers eye Asiad podium finish
(The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  Despite its 10th place finish in the recent World Amateurs, Team Philippines’ chances to medal in this year’s Asian Games looks bright, according to national team coach Bong Lopez, three weeks before golf competition is fired off in the quadrennial games in Incheon, South Korea.

For one, Lopez said he had seen the level of play of two of the fancied teams in the fold – Korea and Japan – in the World Am in Japan and noted that Princess Superal, Miya Legaspi and Pauline del Rosario have got what it takes to mix it up with the tall Koreans and the consistent Japanese.

“They can do it. I’ve seen the Koreans and Japanese play and I believe Princess, Miya and Pauline can match up with them, that is, if they all play to their true potential,” said Lopez.

Upon their arrival from Japan, the troika stepped up their Asiad preparations at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Manila Southwoods, which should resemble the Signature Golf Course in Incheon, also designed by the Golden Bear.

The team, backed by ICTSI, leaves for Korea on Sept. 22 in time for the four-day tournament, which starts Sept. 25.

Lopez said his wards aimed at a Top 5 finish in the World Am and were actually on target after going 5-under after 12 holes in the first round. But they failed to finish strong with Superal bogeying the par-5 13th and Del Rosario dropping three strokes in the last four holes.

“If not for our shaky finish in the first round, we could’ve finished in the Top 5 since Oshitate course’s finishing holes are a lot easier than Iriyama’s layout,” said Lopez, whose wards settled for a 143 but rebounded with a nine-under 135 in their second stint at Oshitate.

They wound up with a 563 for solo 10th in the 50-team field, just one shot behind ninth placer Japan. Korea, winner of the last two editions of the biennial event, ended up third behind Australia and Canada.

Superal, the reigning US Girls Juniors champion, finished with a seven-under 281 for joint 17th in individual competition while Legaspi shared 22nd with a five-under 283.

Del Rosario led the team’s charge in the second round but faded in the last two although she vowed to give it her best shot in Incheon and help the country vie for medal.

 

ASIAN GAMES AUSTRALIA AND CANADA BONG LOPEZ DEL ROSARIO GIRLS JUNIORS GOLDEN BEAR INCHEON JACK NICKLAUS LOPEZ WORLD AM
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