Princess Superal storms to 5-shot edge as Chihiro Ikeda falters

TAGAYTAY, Philippines — Princess Superal moved in the threshold of snapping a long title spell on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, pouncing on erstwhile leader Chihiro Ikeda’s early struggle and shaky finish to seize a five-stroke lead with a 69 in the second round of the ICTSI Tagaytay Highlands Challenge at the Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Club here yesterday.

Superal went from one-down to two-up just after four holes as Ikeda fumbled with three straight bogeys from No. 2 with the former negating her bogey mishap on No. 5 with birdies on Nos. 7 and 9 before enduring windy condition at the back and preserving the tournament-best one-under card.

She actually fumbled with a bogey on No. 16 but holed out with a birdie and pulled away by five with a 140 as Ikeda dropped two strokes on the 16th and closed out with a bogey for a 75 and a 145.

“My driving has been consistent and my irons worked well,” said Superal, who hit nine fairways and 11 greens, capping her superb round with 29 putts.

“I hope my long wait is over and I’m really hungry for a win,” added the former US Girls Juniors champion, now 18 holes away from scoring a follow-up to her last LPGT win in 2016 at Eastridge, where she nipped then amateur Pauline del Rosario by one.

While Superal cashed in on her top form, Ikeda rued favoring her left wrist throughout another punishing day at the up-and-down layout.