Dominant win sends Malixi to Polo Junior Classic quarters

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Dominant win sends Malixi to Polo Junior Classic quarters
Rianne Malixi

MANILA, Philippines — Rianne Malixi pounced on Alexandra Gazzoli’s early mishaps to pound out a 3&2 victory and roll into the quarterfinal round of the Polo Golf Junior Classic Match Play at the Bethpage State Park Golf’s Black course in Farmingdale, New York Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).

The rising Filipina star parred the first two holes and went 2-up as Gazzoli fumbled with a triple bogey and bogey, respectively, and stayed in firm control all throughout their match as the Florida native failed to flash the form she dished out in sweeping her first two matches against Sophie Lander and Madison Dabagia.

But the ICTSI-backed Malixi, who also toppled Linder and halved the match with Dabagia, came into her third match armed to the teeth, birdying Nos. 5 and 6 to go 4-up and keeping the huge lead until the eighth hole. Though she yielded the next two holes on a bogey and a Gazzoli birdie, the two-time American Junior Golf Association champion surged to a 3-hole lead again despite a bogey on No. 11 as Gazzoli gave up two strokes on the par-4 hole.

After they traded bogeys and pars in the next two, Malixi went 4-up again with a par on No. 14, surrendered the next hole but matched her rival’s bogey on the 16th to wrap up the match, finish with 2.5 points and claim the lone Pool E spot in the quarters.

Gazzoli finished the pool play with 2 points while Linder ended up third with 1 point after edging Dabagia, 2&1.

Malixi faces Elise Lee Thursday for a seat in the semis (Friday in Manila). The Californian trounced Lynn Lim, 3&2, in the final match to top Pool D.

Other quarters pairings pit Jaclyn LaHa against fellow Californian Alice Zhao, Jasmine Koo, also from California, versus Texan Maye Huang and Katie Li of New Jersey against Canadian Vanessa Borovilos.


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