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Princess Superal looks for strong start in 2nd LPGT Riviera drive

Princess Superal is going back to basics as she hurdles the difficult challenges in golf’s return in the new normal, rewarding herself with a runaway five-stroke victory in the recent ICTSI Riviera Invitational Challenge, the first of two Ladies Philippine Golf Tour events slated after an eight-month hiatus due to pandemic.

“I think the key (to every victory) is preparation,” said Superal, who shuttles to and from Orchard and Manila Southwoods to sharpen her skills and stay in competitive form.

Heading to next week’s ICTSI Riviera Championship, the 22-year-old reigning Order of Merit champion 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 she expects the rest to do the same or even prepare harder in their attempt to stop her from essaying a sweep of the bubble tournaments at the challenging Langer layout.

Abby Arevalo, who marked her pro debut with a runner-up finish at the Couples course, is toughening up for the 54-hole championship, also at Southwoods, with the likes of Pauline del Rosario, Chanelle Avaricio, Chihiro Ikeda, Marvi Monsalve, Cyna Rodriguez, and Gretchen Villacencio likewise working double-time to reach competitive level by December 8.

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.

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“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 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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