Sports

Young but seasoned Malixi triumphs in Thunderbird AJGA


Rianne Malixi displays the championship banner after winning the Thunderbird Junior All-Star in a three-hole playoff. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Rianne Malixi shows the championship banner after profitable the Thunderbird Junior All-Star in a three-hole playoff. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

As seasoned as a junior novice may be, Rianne Malixi of the Philippines on Sunday calmly drained a three-footer for par on the third playoff gap to win the American Junior Golf Affiliation (AJGA) Thunderbird Junior All-Star title over Scarlett Schremmer on the Papago structure in Phoenix, Arizona.

Not a stranger to closing out tournaments—together with in opposition to professionals again dwelling—Malixi returned a closing spherical two-under-par 70 to catch Schremmer and three-round chief Nikki Oh on the prime at 207 earlier than pouncing on the proper time after which watching Schremmer miss a shorter putt to increase sudden demise.

It was the second AJGA win for the 15-year-old Malixi, who missed profitable it in regulation after three-putting the 54th inexperienced.

“I didn’t know I was leading going to the last hole,” Malixi stated. “I slipped my first putt three feet by and failed to save [par].”

The occasion drew 15 of the highest juniors in the world to play in a showcase event that will open up faculty scholarships in the USA.

Schremmer returned a 69 and Oh, who began the day with a one-shot lead, fired a 71 and dropped out of the playoff after the primary gap with a bogey.

“It’s a great warmup for me for next week’s AJGA event,” stated Malixi, the Group PH spearhead subsequent month in the Southeast Asian Video games in Hanoi, Vietnam. She already has two wins in the native Girls Philippine Golf Tour, the newest in opposition to the celebrated Princess Superal three weeks in the past at Luisita.

Malixi and Schremmer each birdied the eleventh, the second playoff gap, earlier than lacking the twelfth inexperienced. The Filipino pitched to inside three ft and the American a bit nearer just for Malixi to make her putt and wrap it up.

Malixi’s first AJGA win got here in wire-to-wire type in the Se Ri Pak Desert Junior final 12 months. She shouldn’t be listed as one of many gamers to beat in the Ping Heather Farr Traditional unfolding on Thursday at Longbow Golf Membership in Mesa, additionally in Arizona. INQ

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