Superal, Rodriguez yield Party crown

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Princess Superal reacts missing a short par-putt on No. 16 in the Party Golfers Ladies Open Friday at the National Golf Country Club in Miaoli County in Taiwan. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

TAIWAN — Princess Superal and Cyna Rodriguez groped for putting form and missed a Top 10 finish in the Party Golfers Ladies Open ruled by 14-year-old Chia Yen Wu Friday at the National Golf Country Club in Miaoli County here.

Playing in calmer condition after battling it through brutal winds in the first two days, Superal and Rodriguez found the undulating surface too tough to read, hampering their final round charge in the $100,000 championship, the first co-sanctioned event by the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour abroad with the Taiwan LPGA.

The two circuits will next joint stage the Philippine Ladies Masters in February.

Superal flubbed a number of makeable birdie putts and muffed short par-putts, including a two-footer the par-5 No. 16 that saw her leave her head down for seconds in disbelief. That marred her closing one-over 73 and typified the Pinay bets’ day-long struggle on the unreceptive greens.

From joint eighth with Rodriguez and four others after 36 holes, the former US Girls Junior champion wound up tied at 16th at 218 with three others.

“Just couldn’t make the putts…the greens are really difficult to read,” said Superal who ended up with 34 putts to produce a two-birdie, three-bogey one-over card.

Worse was Rodriguez, who made quite a surge with a gutsy 72 in wild conditions Thursday to fuel hopes of her title bid. But she struggled with 37 putts and wound up with five bogeys and a double bogey with only a birdie to show for a 78 that dropped her to joint 39th at 233.

But Chia showed the elite pro field how to tackle the challenging layout, finishing with a second straight 71 and nipping a charging Babe Liu by one to win the crown on a seven-under 209 total, matching fellow amateur Hsin Yu Lu’s feat when she beat Thai Supamas Sangchan by three to snare the Kenda Tire TLPGA Open last week.

Liu sizzled sans the wind from fifth-to-last flight, ramming in four straight birdies from No. 2 for a 31 then adding three more birdies at the back to shoot the tournament-best eight-under 64. But she fell short of foiling Chia although the TLPGA’s No. 5 took the top purse of $18,000 with the 14-year-old junior high student taking the championship crown.

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