MANILA, Philippines – Princess Superal girds for another battle, armed with a form she has whipped to top competitive level and which she hopes to flaunt in the last of two Ladies Philippine Golf Tour bubble tournaments — the ICTSI Riviera Championship beginning December 8 in Silang, Cavite.
But while she ran away with a five-stroke triumph in the ICTSI Riviera Invitational Challenge at the Couples course three weeks ago, the reigning Order of Merit champion expects her rivals to mount a spirited fightback on a Langer course that favors no particular player and where emphasis ranges from length, short game, poise and mental toughness.
Still, Superal said she feels good about her chances, given the time and effort she had spent in sharpening her all-around game, including putting, during the break.
“I think the key (to every victory) is preparation,” said Superal, who shuttles to and from Orchard and Manila Southwoods to stay in competitive form.
Heading to next week’s 54-hole championship, the 22-year-old shotmaker is taking the same approach — train hard, stay confident and have a positive mindset.
“During this pandemic, I’m able to refresh my mind and set new goals,” she said.
But Superal anticipates the rest to do the same or even prepare harder in their attempt to stop her from essaying a sweep of the two tournaments in golf's return after an eight-month break due to pandemic.
Abby Arevalo, for one, has been in deep training, also at Southwoods, trying to polish every aspect of her game as she seeks to better her runner-up finish in her maiden pro appearance at Couples.
Pauline del Rosario, Chanelle Avaricio, Chihiro Ikeda, Marvi Monsalve and former three-time OOM titlist Cyna Rodriguez and Gretchen Villacencio are also working double-time to reach peak form in time for the P400,000 event at the exacting, ravine-laced par-71 Langer layout.
To make things simpler under strict COVID-19 protocols and new guidelines, Superal said she is toning down expectations but stressed the need for a strong start for the proverbial momentum.
“It’s really tough having to go through the process but we feel very safe with the health protocols,” she said. “While I feel upbeat, I don’t want to expect much although a good start would surely boost my confidence.”
Playing without the help of a caddie also makes each bidder’s campaign a lot tougher but the petite, talented shotmaker said she and the rest are getting through with the challenges and thankful for the opportunity to compete again.
“It’s hard doing it all from the tee to the green by yourself but we’re coping up and we’re happy to be able to play again,” she said. “We’re really thankful to the ICTSI and the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. for scheduling two tournaments to end this pandemic-hit season. These also serve as our warm-up tournaments for next year.”
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