January 14, 2015

The 2015 Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship gets going today with Princess Superal out to keep her crown for the third straight year against a crack Thailand crew at Wack Wack’s West Course in Mandaluyong.

That alone guarantees a slam-bang action right in the first round of the 54-hole event, which means so much not only for Superal but also for Thais Kanyalak Preedasutthijit, Pimnipa Panthong and Chayanit Wangmahaporn.

Princess Superal

Princess Superal

For winning 12 titles, including a sweep of the last five tournaments she competed in last year, Superal will be the marked player although the top ICTSI-backed bet has opted to downplay her chances in the country’s premier ladies championship sponsored by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and organized by Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines.

“I don’t think myself as No. 1,” said the 17-year-old Superal while thumping range balls at varied distances at the Manila Southwoods during practice under coach Bong Lopez and LPGA star Jennifer Rosales yesterday. “My goal is to play well in each event and to compete at the highest level.”

Superal fell short of adding the PLO crown to her SEA Games gold last year when she lost by four to Supamas Sangchan of Thailand, who completed her back-to-back title romp in the annual event supported by Mega Fiber, the Philippine Golf Tour, PacSports and Shell Philippines and C2 as official beverage and Vermogen as official apparel.

But with a run of victories to close out 2014, Superal is eager to start the new season with a win although it will take a lot of hard work to achieve her goal what with a talent-laden field all primed up to foil her title drive.

January 14, 2015

Englishman Andy Sullivan captured his first European Tour title with a play-off victory at the South African Open after a collapse by Charl Schwartzel.

South African Schwarztel, the 2011 Masters champion, began the final round with a five-stroke lead and was still four ahead with five holes left.

But he dropped four shots in a 74 for an 11-under-par total, matched by Sullivan, who carded a five-under 67.

As the players returned to the 18th for a play-off, Sullivan won with a birdie.

The Englishman had been one shot clear at the halfway stage of the tournament but bogeyed the first four holes on his way to a third-round 74 and started the final day seven shots off the lead.

However, Schwartzel, chasing his maiden home championship, failed to get up and down from a plugged lie in a greenside bunker on the 14th.

He then three-putted the 16th en route to a double-bogey six, before an errant tee shot on the 17th led to another dropped shot.


Sullivan holed his second shot for an eagle at the 407-yard 12th and also rolled in four birdies at the Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg.

The 28-year-old from Nuneaton perhaps thought his chance had gone when he left a long birdie putt on the 18th a few inches short.

But after both players missed the fairway in the play-off, Sullivan produced a superb escape from the trees and holed from 12 feet for a birdie to seal his first win as a professional.

"It's unbelievable," Sullivan said. "After Saturday I didn't think I stood much of a chance with Charl getting ahead that far.

"I didn't want to give him a second chance to take the title away from me so I am delighted and I hope the guys at Nuneaton Golf Club are having a few beers for me.

"To just play on The European Tour is something I've wanted to do my whole life, so to win an event just caps it all off and to do it in South Africa where I have always enjoyed playing, it has just been an incredible week."

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