Del Rosario nips Superal, cops Faldo Series-Asia

The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 16 2014 06:08 PM | Updated as of Mar 17 2014 02:08 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Pauline del Rosario bucked a double-bogey mishap on No. 17 and nipped ICTSI teammate Princess Superal by one to rule the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final despite a closing 75 at the Mission Hills Golf Club’s Faldo Course in Shenzen, China late Thursday.

Del Rosario, who built a huge five-stroke lead over Superal after two rounds with 72 and 69, went six-up with a birdie on No. 4 but wavered as she lost her rhythm and putting touch, dropping strokes on Nos. 7 and 9 before holing out with a 6 on the par-4 17th for a 37-38 card.

But Superal and erstwhile second running Minami Hiruta of Japan failed to pounce on Del Rosario’s shaky windup with the former hitting just two birdies against a bogey for a 71 and the latter faring ever worse with a five-over 77.

Del Rosario, who topped the 13-14 category in last year’s Junior World, wound up with a 54-hole total of 216 to pocket the girls’ 16-and-under crown in the annual event which featured the region’s top junior players in various age brackets.

The win was a follow-up to Del Rosario’s wire-to-wire triumph in the DHL Open in Canlubang last month with the De La Salle-Zobel student eyeing more victories in various international competitions this summer.

“The victory is a big boost to Pauline’s game and confidence. But she has to toughen up and must keep her focus at all times,” said Team ICTSI coach Bong Lopez.

Superal, the reigning SEA Games gold medalist who dominated the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open three weeks ago, settled for second with a 217, missing forcing a playoff with a flubbed birdie putt from 10 feet on the 18th but sealing a 1-2 finish by the Team ICTSI bets.

Hiruta, who birdied the opening hole but stumbled with four bogeys and a double-bogey, placed third with a 222.

Del Rosario also tied for fifth with China’s Zheng Kai Bai in the overall standing of the Faldo Series Asia Challenge Trophy, which included all players regardless of age and gender, topped by Japan’s Mikumu Horikawa, who had a 207 after a 68.