Showing guts and playing with the talent that belie her age, amateur Rianne Malixi on Thursday fought the seasoned Princess Superal tooth and nail and prevailed, shooting a third straight one-under-par 71 to win the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Championship by a shot under strength-sapping heat in Tarlac.
The 14-year-old birdied the picturesque 183-yard par-3 17th for the second consecutive round using a 4-hybrid off the tee, and Superal dropped a shot there for the third straight day on the way to a 70 as Malixi, despite closing with a bogey, prevailed with a 213 total and won a pro event on the LPGT for the second time since the Midlands leg last December.
“The goal was to win, but my priority was to learn and experience playing with [Superal] and the other [pros], which is a rare opportunity,” said Malixi. Superal settled for second but pocketed the top prize of P101,250 with Malixi not eligible to win money being an amateur.
Joint men’s leaders
Chanelle Avaricio, the surprise first round leader, returned a 75 to finish third seven strokes behind, with Chihiro Ikeda matching par 72 to be fourth another shot back.
Meanwhile, Michael Bibat gunned down five birdies in carding a 68 to catch Miguel Tabuena, who fired a 69, at the top after three rounds of the P2-million men’s event that heads into a conclusion on Friday.
Both Bibat and Tabuena signed for even 36s after the first nine holes, but the former Asian Games bronze medalist was hotter coming home, with four of his birdies coming inside his last seven holes.
Rookie pro Sean Ramos had a 69 to come within four, with amateur Josef Bucay recording the round of the week, a 66, to be five behind like Clyde Mondilla, who shot a second straight 71.
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