Superal leads 1 up after 18 holes at U.S. Girls' Junior final
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Few putts have been given and few words have been spoken at the midway point of the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Forest Highlands Golf Club. Finalists Marijosse Navarro of Mexico and Princess Mary Superal of the Philippines are very similar in playing style and quiet demeanor, which has made for an even match so far. Superal took a 1-up lead into the lunchroom.
Neither player stands much taller than 5 feet and both rely on deft touch around the greens. The two matched pars for the opening three holes before Superal birdied the par-4 fourth.
The tee markers were moved significantly on several holes for Saturday’s final, giving Forest Highlands a slightly different look than it’s had so far this week. The par-4 sixth was easily reachable off the tee on Saturday, and both players made birdie. Two holes later, Navarro three-putted from 45 feet for bogey at the par-3 eighth as Superal got up-and-down to go 2 up.
Navarro won the par-4 10th with a 5-foot birdie putt, but her most impressive hole of the morning was the par-5 14th. After some discussion with her caddie, Navarro pulled a 3-hybrid for her 210-yard approach. It sailed to the back of the green and set up an easy birdie. The only thing was, Superal matched it.
Navarro bogeyed the par-3 seventh to go back to 2 down, but birdied the par-5 18th with a two-putt from the back of the green to get one back.
This is the last U.S. Girls’ Junior for both players, who will have reached their 18th birthdays by the time the championship rolls around next year. Navarro already has spent a semester on the Texas A&M roster, and Superal has traveled extensively with the Philippine National Team. She isn’t certain if her future holds college golf or a path straight to professional golf.
A U.S. Golf Association title would be a welcome addition to either player’s resume.