The country’s golf teams are ready to take their shot at the medal when competition in both men’s and women’s divisions tee off on Thursday at the 17th Asian Games at Dream Park Country Club here.
“Both teams have good chances,” said coach Bong Lopez. “All the players are seasoned and all of them are ready.”
Princess Superal leads the highly regarded women’s squad along with Miya Legaspi and Pauline del Rosario. The three dominated the event in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Burma (Myanmar), where they swept the two available gold medals. Superal won the individual crown while leading the trio to the team title.
“I’m excited,” said the 17-year-old Superal during practice at the 7,031-meter golf course. “This is my first Asian Games and I’m confident of our chances.”
Superal heads into the tournament having won seven of 20 tournaments this year, including the US Girls championship.
The men’s team of the ICTSI-backed squad also hopes to create ripples in the tournament. Pint-sized Rupert Zaragosa said the team has put in a lot of preparation going into the Asiad and won’t back down from the elite filed.
“Malaki chance natin dito kasi grabe rin yung practice namin para sa tournament na ito,” said Zaragosa, the leader of the four-man squad that is among the youngest in the tournament.
Aside from the 17-year-old Zaragosa, the other members of the team are Kristoffer Arevalo (15), Justin Quiban (18) and Raymart Tolentino.
Golf is one of the sports that could deliver a medal for the Philippine delegation, which already has two silver medals and one bronze to show a week into the quadrennial meet.
“There’s pressure but we feel confident,” said Arevalo. “Malaki chance namin.”
“Putting will be the key here,” said Lopez, and the golfers agreed.
“It’s easy to stay in the fairway even if there are OBs everywhere so putting will really decide the tournament,” said Arevalo.
The teams tee off at 11:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. in Manila). The course, located in Northern Incheon, is about 40 kilometers—an hour’s drive—away from the athletes’ and media villages.
Under overcast skies and a slight chilly drizzle, the seven Philippine aces again sampled the course yesterday.
“Puwedeng umiskor dito (We can score low here),” Zaragosa said. “Basta maayos yung drive at maganda ang putting, malaki ang chance natin (If we can drive and putt well, our chances are good).”
Source : Francis T.J. Ochoa, Inquirer.net