Amateur Malixi grabs three-shot Midlands lead


Rianne Malixi shoots a one-over for the early lead. —LPGT PHOTO

Amateur Rianne Malixi, playing her first Ladies Philippine Golf Tour event, holed out with a bogey 6 on Tuesday, settling for a one-over-par 73 that was still good for a three-shot lead after the opening round of the P750,000 ICTSI Tagaytay Midlands Classic, where the fancied pros stumbled on a truly challenging day.

The winner of the Se Ri Pak junior invitational in the United States earlier this year, Malixi had four total bogeys against three birdies over the windy, ravine-laden gem South of Manila as she left her more seasoned rivals eating her dust after a 37-36 effort.

Sunshine Baraquiel, the winner a month ago at nearby Highlands where the conditions were more brutal, signed for a 76 like another amateur, Laurea Duque, with Daniella Uy another stroke back with her 77 marred by a cold early stretch made up of a triple bogey 7 on No. 1, a bogey on the third and a double-bogey 6 on No. 4.

“It’s a wonderful experience; playing against the pros is a great challenge for me,” Malixi, a freshman at San Bernardino in California, said. “I kind of struggled with my short game and putting, but I was able to manage myself in a great way.”

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