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Malixi, Go trail Korean by 3 after 73s in Malaysian Amateur Open

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RIANNE MALIXI  and Lois Kaye Go hardly recovered from backside struggles and matched one-over 73s in soft conditions as they trailed Korean Hyo Song Lee by three at the start of the Malaysian Amateur Open at Palm Resort’s Cempaka course in Johor Bahru Thursday.

While Go groped for form early with three bogeys in the first five holes, Malixi dropped two strokes on the par-5 No. 18 after dumping her second shot into the hazard. But the Filipina duo rebounded with one-under cards at the front to gain a share of second with Canada’s Lucy Lin and local bets Geraldine Wong Xiao Xuan from W. Persekutuan and Kedah DA’s Jocelyn Chee Yi Min.

Mafy Singson, however, failed to overcome a double-bogey mishap on the par-5 No. 11 and three bogeys that led to a 41 and a 77, dropping her to joint 17th, seven strokes off Lee, who bounced back strong from a double-bogey on No. 14 with four birdies, including three in a solid frontside 33 finish as she took command with a 70 for a three-stroke lead over five rivals.

Lee, the reigning Korean Amateur champion who tied for third with the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI)-backed Malixi in the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific in Thailand last month, birdied No. 16 then dominated the last two par-5s at the front while gaining another stroke on the par-3 sixth to put herself on top of the women’s field.

Go birdied the 18th to check a three-bogey slide then got to level par with birdies on Nos. 1 and 4. But the veteran Cebuana campaigner bogeyed the next two holes and needed to birdie the eighth to get back into the thick of things with a 35-38.

Malixi matched that output with birdies on Nos. 2 and 7 against a bogey on the fifth with the 15-year-old winner of the Thai Junior World crown last month and three other pro titles on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour vowing to rebound in the second round of the 72-hole championship.

Singson, who also won a pro crown back home, also has a lot of recovering to do after that disastrous backside start although she somewhat settled down with a one-birdie, one-bogey card in the last nine holes.

Shinichi Suzumi, meanwhile, gunned down two birdies but made five bogeys as he turned in a 75 for joint 11th with Singapore’s Irvyn Tan, six strokes adrift of Sarawak’s Anson Yeo Boon Xiang in the men’s side of the 118th of the event which drew 109 bidders from 11 countries from the Asia Pacific region.

Elee Bisera, on the other hand, blew a one-under card after five holes at the front with a spate of bogeys, ending up with a 77 for a share of 15th.

Bisera, the best scorer in the Phl team that placed 11th in a field of 16th in the recent Nomura Cup, looked headed for a strong start after birdying the par-5 No. 4 but yielded three straight strokes from the sixth. The Davaoeño also found the going a lot tougher at the backside of the challenging hazard-laden layout with narrow, winding fairways, fumbling with two bogeys and a double bogey with no birdie to show.

Other 77 scorers werew Muhammad Danial Bin Nazari and Ruhanraj Vinayagam, Danish Bin Mohamad Rizal and Pakistan’s Hussain Hamid.

Xiang used a solid start of 33 to fire a 69 as he likewise grabbed a three-shot lead over Seunghyun Pi of Korea, Indonesian Randy Arbenata and Ryan Ang of Singapore, who matched 71s.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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