Malixi fights back with 68, moves to joint 9th

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Malixi fights back with 68, moves to joint 9th
Rianne Malixi of The Philipines plays her tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur at the Champions Retreat Golf Course on April 03, 2024 in Evans, Georgia.
David Cannon / Getty Images via AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Rianne Malixi surged into contention in the Korea Women’s Open Golf Championship with a superb four-under 68, propelling her to a tie for ninth place at the halfway mark of the host country’s premier championship at the Rainbow Hills Golf Club in Seoul, South Korea Friday.

Seunghee Noh took control of the 72-hole tournament with her version of a four-under card, highlighted by three birdies in the last eight holes. She pooled a 36-hole aggregate of 136 to gain a three-shot lead over Minbyul Kim.

Kim eagled the par-5 16th to spike a four-under backside run, also for a 68 and a 139, while six others matched 140s, including Kim Min-Joo, who fired a 70.

After a turbulent first round where she carded a 73 with three birdies offset by four bogeys, the 17-year-old Malixi rebounded brilliantly. Her second round featured a scorching frontside performance with four birdies, capped by back-to-back birdies.

Despite bogeys on Nos. 12 and 15, Malixi, now ranked No. 25 in the world amateur rankings, recovered those strokes with birdies on the 14th and 16th, finishing the day with a 32-36 split.

Malixi, supported by ICTSI, shares ninth place with 141 with fellow amateur and World No. 2 Minsol Kim, who also rallied with a 68, and professionals Yoon Ina and Sooyeon Jang, who shot identical 71s.

Malixi began her 2024 season with a victory at the Australian Master of the Amateurs and recently tied for 24th at the Suntory Ladies Open in Japan. She is gearing up for several premier amateur championships, starting with the Women’s Amateur in Ireland from June 24-29.

Following this, she will compete in the US Girls’ Junior in Tarzana, California from July 15-20, the European Ladies Amateur in Finland from July 24-27, and the US Women’s Amateur in Oklahoma from August 5-12.

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