Princess Superal scored the biggest win in her young professional career, holding off two major champions in the inaugural Simone Asia Pacific Cup at the Pondok Indah golf course in Jakarta, Indonesia Saturday.
The 25-year-old Filipina, who campaigns in the Thailand domestic circuit, closed with a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 to win by three strokes over Ryu So Yeon of South Korea who matched Superal’s final round.
World No. 4 Lydia Ko of New Zealand closed with a 70 to settle for third.
Superal finished the 54-hole event on 12-under par 204 to pocket the top purse of $100,000 (roughly P5.5 million), her biggest paycheck so far.
When she topped the Ladies Professional Golf Tour in 2019 back home, Superal banked P1,164,604.
Superal, who made only one bogey in the tournament, also powered the Philippines to a runner-up finish in the team event behind South Korea.
Ryu and Lee Bomee combined for 11-under to rule the team event, four shots ahead of the Filipinas. New Zealand came in third on 5-under.
Pauline del Rosario, Superal’s ICTSI teammate, birdied 18 to salvage a 77 and a share of 19th place on 6-over.
Starting the day with a one-shot lead over Ko, Superal knocked in three straight birdies from the second hole to extend her lead to two shots over Ko and Ryu.
Superal continued to ride on a hot putter, dropping birdies on 10 and 15 to build a four-shot lead over Ko who went on to close with nine consecutive pars.
Ryu fell to 7-under after a bogey on 15 but finished with back-to-back birdies to take second place on 9-under.
The victory ended a long wait for Superal who had two runner-up finishes this season in the Thailand Ladies PGA and Thai Women’s PGA.
Before flying to Jakarta, Superal underwent intensive training under long-time swing coach Bong Lopez at the Manila Southwoods.
Superal skipped the first stage of the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour Q-School to join hands with Del Rosario.
Ryu, who was three shots off the pace, made her move in the front nine with five birdies against a lone bogey to move within two shots off Superal.
But the Korean could not buy a birdie until the last two holes.
Ko, the former world No. 1, made four birdies against two bogeys to reach the turn on 2-under but did not come close to threatening Superal at the back.
Tied in far fourth on 3-under were Thai Kongkraphan Patcharajutar and Japanese Sakurai Sokona who shot 70 and 68, respectively.