Princess Superal overwhelmed Harmie Constantino and Chihiro Ikeda with a birdie-binge at the front but needed to thwart Chanelle Avaricio’s spirited challenge with a clutch birdie on the 17th to fire a 65 and hack out a one-stroke victory in the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Challenge on Friday, July 9.
Avaricio took up the challenger’s role after Constantino and Ikeda failed to match Superal’s blistering frontside 32 which she did with a brilliant five-birdie, one-bogey start at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club. Playing in a flight ahead, she then forced a tie with Superal at seven-under 209 total after capping a career-best 65 with three straight birdies from No. 15.
But the multi-titled Superal displayed grace under pressure, unleashing a solid drive and a 6-iron approach shot from 160 yards on the 17th then canned in a lead-grabbing birdie from 15 feet before preserving the lead and securing the victory with a closing routine par.
She totalled 208 that included a 74 and a 69 and pocketed the top purse of P112,000 for her second win in four events. She ruled the first of two bubble tournaments at Riviera late last year, finished second in the next then placed behind Constantino at Eagle Ridge last March before the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. suspended play due to resurgence of coronavirus cases in NCR Plus.
“I actually had no idea of Chanelle’s surge but I knew there would be one who will go low,” said Superal, who hiked her lead to two with back-to-back birdies from No. 14 but slipped into a tie with Avaricio following the latter’s late three-birdie blast. “But I just did what I was supposed to do, stuck to my routine and stayed focused.”
While Superal, the 2019 Ladies PGT Order of Merit champion, basked in the glory of another victory, Avaricio missed the chance to finally hit paydirt after finishing no higher than fourth in the past four tournaments of the ICTSI-backed circuit in pandemic-hit 2020-21 seasons.
She settled for second at 209 worth P90,000.
It was actually a windup that would’ve defined Avaricio’s career as she kept on pressing her bid for a breakthrough after matching Superal’s frontside 32 marked by five birdies in the first eight holes but marred by a bogey on the ninth.
She recovered the stroke on No. 12, only to yield it again on the next but the comely former Alabama State U mainstay blitzed home with three straight birdies to nurture hopes of forcing a playoff or clinching it outright.
But Superal had other things in mind.
Constantino, who led by one after 36 holes, stayed in the hunt despite a lone birdie after three holes but came undone when she double-bogeyed the par-5 No. 4 and dropped two more strokes on No. 7 after a bogey on the sixth.
She, however, gunned down two birdies at the back to save a 72 for solo third at 214 worth P75,000 while Chihiro Ikeda carded a 73 to end up fourth at 216.
Gretchen Villacencio stumbled with a 75 and wound up fifth at 222, Daniella Uy saved a 73 for sixth at 223 while Sunshine Baraquiel broke par with a 71 for seventh at 229 and Marvi Monsalve matched par 72 for eighth at 234 in the first of four bubble tournaments in Cavite in the next five weeks.
Next up for LPGT is the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Classic at the Norman course on july 14-16 before action swings to Riviera in Silang for a couple of events, the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Challenge at Langer on July 28-30 and the ICTSI Ladies Challenge at the adjacent Couples layout on Aug. 4-6.
Burberry Zhang ran away with the low amateur honors with a 237 total after a 78, beating Korean Jang Jeong, who carded an 82 for a 243, by six for ninth. Zhang claimed the trophy and P10,000 worth of items from SHGC pro shop.