She is the lone entry from Philippines, but 15-year-old Princess Mary Superal is confident of making it a hattrick of wins for her country in the prestigious 100PLUS Malaysia Junior Open.
Sarah Ababa (2010) and Dottie Ardina (2011) won the Girls’ Overall categories the last two years and today, Mary, took a huge step towards emulating them when she shot an even par 72 at the Saujana Golf and Country Club (SGCC) to lead Malaysia’s Asha Lakshme by two strokes.
Born and bred in Manila, Mary, who has been playing golf since she was five, said she enjoyed playing on the Palm Course.
“It is very hilly and tricky but I managed to get my irons into play today,” said Mary, whose father is a teaching professional in Manila.
“Our whole family is crazy about golf and I hope to turn professional after I graduate. I was fairly confident of doing well in Malaysia as I’ve heard so much about this course from my compatriots, but didn’t expect to shoot such a good score.”
Mary, who idolises Tiger Woods, started her round with a bang when she picked up a birdie on the opening par four 1st hole, but dropped a shot at the par three 5th.
She then picked up another birdie on the par 5 ninth hole but, lost a stroke each on the next two holes to take the turn one-over.
She played steady golf for the next three holes before picking up a birdie on the 13th and held her nerve to close out her round on even par.
“My putting was a little erratic and that probably caused me a better score,” said Mary, who enjoys comedies and going to the movies with her schoolmates.
“I need to remain calm over the next two days if I’m to maintain my country’s winning run.”
Meanwhile, hot favourite Low Khai Jei is sharing the boys’ lead on one-under 71 with fellow Malaysian Paul San.
Leading first round scores (Malaysia unless stated)
71: Low Khai Jei, Paul San
74: Muhammad Naqiuddin
75: Park Chang Uk (South Korea)
76: Joshua Gibbons (England)
77: Bryan Teoh Wiyang
72: Princes Mary Superal (Philippines)
74: Asha Lakshme
76: Nur Durriyah Damian, Genevieve Ling
80: Sarafina Vinota Seretharan
82: Abigail Chong