AsPac golf queen Superal seeks redemption in Thailand

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
AsPac golf queen Superal seeks redemption in Thailand
Princess Superal

MANILA, Philippines – Still in a state of euphoria, newly crowned Asia Pacific Cup champion Princess Superal eagerly packed her bags and left for Thailand Tuesday for another mission — the fourth Thailand Mixed hosted by TrustGolf reeling off Thursday in Samut Prakan.

The THB3 million championship isn’t a conventional 72-hole ladies tournament but a mixed event where Superal and the rest of the women’s cast will play alongside their male counterparts in the 144-player field at the Thana City Country Club which measures 7,008 yards off the men’s tee and 6,281 off the women’s.

Unlike in the first three Thailand Mixed series, this week’s battle will be disputed via the Stableford format where players score points based on the number of strokes taken on each hole – albatross +8, eagle +5, birdie +2, par 0, bogey -1 and -2 for double bogey or worse.

The top 60 plus ties will advance to the last 36 holes.

Also at stake is a wildcard in the Women’s Australian Open in December for the best female finisher although she must finish in the Top 5 overall.

While Superal is brimming with confidence following her smashing, emotional victory in the Asia Pacific Cup in Jakarta last weekend, the 25-year-old ICTSI-backed ace expects a daunting challenge from the Thais, led by Chanettee Wannasaen and Apichaya Yubol, winners of two of the first three Thailand Mixed.

Still, she hopes to flaunt her awesome form that netted her 13 birdies against one bogey in the 54-hole Asia Pacific Cup where she humbled not one but three major champions, including world No. 4 Lydia Ko, No. Hyo Joo Kim and No. 46 So Yeon Ryu.

The 2014 US Girls’ Junior titlist beat Ryu by three and four clear off Ko while Kim finished 11 strokes behind the diminutive but talented Filipina shotmaker.

Though she has racked up a number of victories as a pro on the local circuit, the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, her AsPac exploit was her first win overseas.

“It was pretty special. It has been a long wait but I’m so thankful that I was given a chance,” said Superal, who came into the AsPac meet with a low No. 924 ranking in the world.

The next three weeks will also be a big opportunity for her to make amends in Thailand where she flubbed a couple of title cracks on the Thailand Ladies PGA, including a playoff loss to Aunchisa Utama in the Singha-BGC fourth Thai LPGA Championship last May.

She also led into the final round of the Singha-BGC sixth Thai LPGA Championship but bombed out with a 78 and tumbled to tied 15th instead.

"She is due for a big win in Thailand," said Superal long-time coach and mentor Bong Lopez, who helped and guided her to reach a highly-competitive level for the AsPac foray through intensive training at Southwoods and Orchard with support from Justin Aquino (strength and conditioning) and Lee Tajonera (sports psychology).

Superal also shared ninth place in the Pattaya Ladies Open when she shifted her campaign to Thailand last April following a one-stroke setback to amateur Rianne Malixi at LPGT Luisita and a playoff loss to Chanelle Avaricio in the LPGT Hallow Ridge.

She next tied for 15th in the third Thai LPGA Championship, finished fifth in the SAT-NSDF fifth Thai LPGA Championship, shared third place in the Muang Thai Insurance-seventh Thai LPGA Championship and tied for second in the SAT-TWT Road to World Ranking of the Thailand Women’s LPGA.

After the fourth Thailand Mixed, Superal will see action in the seventh SAT-TWT Open 2022 Road to World Ranking of the TWLPGA on August 31-September 2 at Kabin Buri Sport Club in Prachin Buri before winding up her Thai stint in the BGC Thailand LPGA Masters on September 7-10 at the Black Mountain Golf Club in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

She is also set to vie in the final stage of the Japan LPGA Qualifying School in Ibaraki in November.

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