Interview With 2014 U.S. Girls' Junior Champion Princess Mary Superal

Q.  Princess, the 2014 U.S. Girls Junior champion.  You were telling me in the car it hasn't quite sunk in yet.  How are you feeling right now?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I don't know.  It's like ‑‑ I really didn't expect it.

Q.  You had an amazing week.  You had two pretty big wins early in match play, and things got progressively tougher and tougher as the week went along.  Tell me your thoughts as you're walking up 18 green on the very last hole of regulation.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  The 36th hole?

Q.  You had been leading the whole match, and all of a sudden Marijosse has gone 1‑up.  What was going through your mind?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I just hit the ball and told myself to make a birdie on that hole.  Just to make a birdie on that hole.

Q.  Well, you made that birdie.  Were you excited?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, very.

Q.  When she lined up for 18 before she missed that putt did you think she would make it?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, I thought it would.

Q.  Were you thinking you might have lost right there?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah.

Q.  How were you able to play through that?  Are you a pretty tough player mentally most of the time?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, but just ‑‑ I don't know what to say.  I just told myself not to pressure myself that much.

Q.  Have you ever been in a situation where even a stroke play tournament where you had a lead and you had to keep it or you had a lead and you lost it?  Do you have experience in that situation?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yes.  I played in the TRANS National two years ago, and I was ‑‑ I forgot, but I lost in that match.  I think I was 1‑up goingoing to the second round.

Q.  It was a 36‑hole final?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah.

Q.  And that was in the final match?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah.

Q.  What did you tell yourself after that?  Do you think about that often?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Not really.  I just told myself that it was a great experience.

Q.  You've had Coach Lopez and Yuka and Sofia and all your teammates here and they gave you big hugs.  What were they telling you at lunch?  How were they helping keep you up?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  They cheered me up.  They said I can do it, and yeah.  They're very important.

Q.  When Mark got tired after 13 and then Yuka [Saso] went on the bag, what did you guys talk about on 13 that gave you kind of an energy boost because it looked like you were giggling a little bit and having a good time.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, Yuka is one of my close friends, so we just talked a lot on the course.

Q.  Do you think you needed that at that point?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Not really, but (laughing).

Q.  What did she do?  Did she help you with yardage or reading putts or did you still do that on your own throughout the match?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I just did it myself.

Q.  I talked to Coach Mendoza and Coach Lopez, and they said they've been helping you gain distance off the tee.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Uh‑huh, yeah.

Q.  And when you first met them you were only hitting it about 180 off the tee.  Tell us about the progression of what you did to increase your distance and how you've improved off the tee in the last two or three years.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, when I went into ICTSI, maximum with my driver was 210 yards.  I was short.  And then they told me to make my drives strong.  So we worked out a lot, like four times a week, so that helped me a lot to gain more distance.

Q.  I see ICTSI on your hat.  Is that an academy you attend?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  It's an organization that helps golf.

Q.  Your coach was saying you are going to play hopefully the Women's World Amateur.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, next ‑‑

Q.  The U.S. Amateur in ‑‑

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah.

Q.  And then the World Team Championship?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Maybe, yeah.

Q.  Your coaches are counting on you.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah.

Q.  Is it exciting for you to represent your country, and what does this mean to be the first Filipino winner of this championship?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I feel very, very proud.

Q.  Will lots of people know about this back home?  Will they kind of know your name now?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, they messaged me on Facebook saying good luck.

Q.  What time is it in the Philippines right now?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I think 8:13 a.m. in Manila, 13 hours ahead.

Q.  Your dad lives back home in Manila?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah.

Q.  What's your dad's name?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Wendy Superal.

Q.  And then your mom is in ‑‑

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  My mom is in California right now doing stuff with my sister, and my brother is also here.

Q.  Your brother is here?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  In California.

Q.  What are their names?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  My sister is Crystal Superal.

Q.  Does she sometimes go by Eagle Ace?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  No, that's my younger sister.

Q.  So Crystal is how old?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  23.

Q.  Eagle Ace is how old?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Nine years old.

Q.  And your brother?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Wolen Superal, 22.

Q.  What's your mom's name?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Grace Superal.

Q.  Are you then based in the Philippines or are you based in the United States?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I'm based in the Philippines.

Q.  You live with your dad when you're there?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah.

Q.  How popular is golf in general in the Philippines?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  It's getting very popular now.  A lot of kids want to play golf.

Q.  Who is your favorite player, professional player?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Tiger Woods.

Q.  Have you ever seen him play?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  No, but I watched him on TV.

Q.  How big of an inspiration (inaudible)?  Or big an influence on golf in the Philippines?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  They were very inspirational.  They were like role models.

Q.  You were talking about some inspirational players from the Philippines like Dorothy or Jennifer.  Were they inspirations to you and other girl Filipino golfers?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yes, they are.  They're role models.

Q.  I just want to take you back to the golf course real quick to the very last hole, hole No. 14, the 37th hole.  How tired were you?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Very, very tired.  Yeah, I was very, very tired.

Q.  When you were on the tee and you saw Marijosse's shot hit the water ‑‑

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I was very shocked.  We played this morning, and then she always make it on and make a birdie, so I was very shocked when her ball went in the hazard.

Q.  And then did you leave your putt short on the green, or tell me what happened there on the green when you made your putt and then she conceded.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  My last putt?  I don't know, I just putted it.

Q.  Was it short?  Was it long?  I couldn't see it.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  No, it didn't break.

Q.  And then she conceded the match?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Uh‑huh.

Q.  What was that feeling like?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I was very shocked.  I just cried.  Just very happy.

Q.  Tell me how Marijosse played today.  You could never quite pull away from her.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, she was very, very good.  She was very strong, consistent, good in short game.  Very good.

Q.  What do you think was the best part of your game this week?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I think my putting.  And I think my consistency helped me a lot this week.

Q.  I could see how consistency would help you when you're trying to keep ahead.  Does that help give you a little stability?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah.  It gave me a lot of confidence.

Q.  Have you always been a consistent player?  Is that something you've gotten with age?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yes.  I've been consistent ‑‑ I wasn't as good in like driving because I was kind of weak.  Yeah, I mean, iron shots were very, very ‑‑ they were good.

Q.  You were talking about fitness and getting stronger for hitting the ball, but do you think you would have been able to have the energy to play well so many holes at a course that's so hilly here at altitude and a hard walk?  How much did the training help this week?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  It was very, very helpful, yeah.

Q.  I spoke to Coach Mendoza, and he said that after you qualified for the round of 64 in 2012 at the U.S. Amateur but didn't do too well there, you went to Trump National and finished second and he thought that was a big moment for you to bounce back.  Do you remember that being a big change in the way you played and the way you progressed?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yes.  Yeah.  After that U.S. Amateur tournament, my game improved a lot.

Q.  So it was an experience that helped you?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yes, helped me.

Q.  Coach Lopez also mentioned that you requested a special meal after yesterday's round and that you had it again today.

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yes, hopefully.  Maybe.

Q.  Maybe tonight, too?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yeah, I want to.

Q.  Do you remember what it was?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  KFC.  I like chicken.  I liked it a lot.

Q.  Have you had Kentucky Fried Chicken before this week or was that the first time?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  No.  They also have KFC in the Philippines.  I always eat a lot there.

Q.  Do you think you'll keep eating that and keep winning?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yes.

Q.  Princess says they're going to Universal Studios, which I told Princess that last week our WAPL champion was excited to go to Universal Studios.  Is that your plan for next week between going to the Women's Amateur?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  Yes.  I asked first to go to Universal Studios.

Q.  What do you really want to see there?

PRINCESS MARY SUPERAL:  I just want to ride all the rides there.

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