TAGAYTAY – Amateur Rianne Malixi flirted with a record shattering romp but slipped with a backside mishap, settling for a 15-stroke romp over Harmie Constantino on a closing 70 in the ICTSI Midlands Ladies Classic here yesterday.
Malixi was on course to breaking Princess Superal’s 16-stroke winning margin over Cyna Rodriguez at Highlands in 2018 after matching it with a running eagle-aided three-under card after 12 holes for a four-under overall total. But she double bogeyed the par-4 No. 13 then birdied the 16th to finish with a 33-37.
Still, it was an imposing triumph for a 14-year-old making her first appearance on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, her 54-hole total of three-under 213 underscoring her dominant run she anchored on a second round 70 that put her unassailably ahead by nine over Daniella Uy.
She could’ve scored high and would’ve still won by a mile but Malixi nevertheless played like she was the pursuer, putting up instead another under-par round that proved as an exception rather than the rule at the wind-raked Midlands layout.
“It’s a great experience. I’ve been able to compete with the great pros and I was able to manage myself great and I’m very happy with that,” said Malixi, who came into the P750,000 event hoping to provide a stiff challenge to the pros but instead came out practically spared of any kind of tests.
For she proved a cut above the rest, controlling the pace despite a 73 start then pulling away over her nearest pursuer with a second round 70.
With a lead too big like the Midlands greens, Malixi showed no signs of slowing down, birdying the par-5 second hole then gunning down an eagle on No. 6. She tried to pound the course – and the record – at the back but got derailed by a double bogey on the 13th.
With Malixi clinching the overall championship and the low amateur trophy in runaway fashion, the pros slugged it out for runner-up honors and the top purse with Constantino pouncing on Uy’s backside fumble with birdies on Nos. 12 and 14 to salvage a 75 and a 228 total.
Constantino, who swept the two Eagle Ridge-Aoki legs, pocketed the top P116,250 prize and claimed the Order of Merit title in her rookie season with total earnings of P609,750 over eight legs.
“I played really well in the front nine although I missed a lot of greens,” said Malixi, while crediting her short game that enabled her to execute the shots the way she had wanted.
“Although I struggled in the back nine, I was able to maintain myself, to compose myself in a very good way,” said Malixi. who honed her skills and gained experience through a number of competitions abroad, including the US Girls Junior, the US Women’s Amateur, the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, the PXG Women’s Match Play, a pro event, and the Se Ri Park Desert Junior, which she won.
Sunshine Baraquiel, who reigned at Highlands for her breakthrough win last month, also birdied the 16th to post a second straight 77 for joint third place at 230 with Marvi Monsalve, who carded a 76. Each received P75,000.
It was sorry windup for Uy, who birdied No. 6 to firm up her hold of second, only to tumble to solo fifth with four bogeys and two double bogeys, including on No. 13, for a 79 and 231 worth P60,000.