MANILA, Philippines - Newly crowned US Girls’ Junior champion Princess Superal matched par 70 to tie for eighth with three others, four strokes off Australian Oh Su-Hyun at the start of the US Women’s Amateur Championship eliminations at the Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, New York Monday.
Superal hit two birdies against the same number of bogeys to finish with a pair of 35s, dropping four shots off Oh after the first round of the 36-hole stroke play qualifier among 153 hopefuls from all over the world.
Superal, who nipped Mexico’s Marijosse Navarro on the first sudden death to clinch the US Girls’ crown last July 27 in Flagstaff, Arizona, is one of the USGA champions in the fold with the 17-year-old Team ICTSI spearhead joining flightmate American Grace Na, Angel Yin, also of the US, and Celine Boutier of France at No. 8.
“It’s a good start and I don’t feel any pressure as coach Bong (Lopez) keeps telling me to just enjoy the moment,” said Superal, who however, expects a lot tougher challenge here with the par-70 playing longer than its 6,297 yardage.
“The course is long, longer than Flagstaff. There are two par-4s that I can barely reach,” said Superal, who, however, hopes to reach the match play phase starting Wednesday.
The top 64 players after the 36-hole elims will advance to the knockout stage.
Another Filipina and former national team mainstay Regina de Guzman carded a 72 for joint 22nd and well within the cut. She rammed in three birdies but stumbled with three bogeys and double-bogey for a 38-34 card in a tie with 15 others, including Navarro.
Oh, a quarterfinalist here last year, fumbled with two bogeys but gunned down six birdies, including a 40-footer on No. 11.
Hannah O’Sullivan fired a 67, Megan Khang made a 68, while Bethany Wu, Andrea Lee, Allison Lee and Baile Tardy all had 69s.