Malixi faces early test as The Women's Amateur unfold

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Malixi faces early test as The Women's Amateur unfold
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 is set to face a formidable challenge as she aims for a strong start and momentum in The Women’s Amateur Championship firing off Monday in Ireland (Tuesday Manila time), facing Norway’s Anna Krekling and Denmark’s Victoria Kristensen in one of the featured flights.

The trio will begin their journey at 2:26 p.m. on the first hole of the historic Portmarnock Golf Club course with Malixi all primed up for a test of shotmaking and putting in the 36-hole stroke play elims against one of the strongest fields ever assembled for the 121st staging of the host country’s premier championship.

This year’s tournament features four players from the Top 10 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, including No. 1 Lottie Woad from England and No. 3 Julia Ramirez of Spain, with 21 players in the Top 50 competing on the challenging course north of Dublin.

Woad, 20, has an impressive track record, having won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last April. The Surrey native also captured the R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship in 2022 and is a previous winner of the Welsh Women’s Open Stroke Play title, making her a player to watch this week.

“I’m hoping to keep my good form going and use the experiences I’ve gained in the last couple of months to hopefully contend for the win,” said Woad.

Also in the hunt for success are Americans No. 7 Rachel Kuehn and No. 15 Anna Davis.

Despite the strong credentials of her rivals, Malixi remains undeterred. Moving to No. 14 in the world, the 17-year-old is entering the event brimming with confidence after a strong joint fifth-place finish at the Korea Women’s Open recently. She also tied for 24th in her first professional international appearance at the Suntory Ladies Open in Japan last month.

The Women’s Amateur is renowned as one of the world’s premier amateur championships, with past winners including notable LPGA Tour players such as Leona Maguire, Georgia Hall, and Anna Nordqvist.

This year’s champion will earn entry to the Women’s (British) Open, the US Women’s Open, and the Evian Championship. Additionally, she will receive an invite to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur next year.

The 144-strong field will compete in stroke play over the first 36 holes, with the top 64 advancing to the match play stage.

Woad will be paired with Annabelle Pancake of the US and South African Kyra van Kan at 9:19 a.m. Ramirez will face Kuehn and Britain’s Patience Rhodes at 10:14 a.m., while Davis will clash with Iceland’s Andrea Bergsdottir and Ireland’s Kate Lanigan, all starting on No. 1.

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