Rianne Malixi isn’t about to fade into the background just yet.
Mustering brilliant iron play, the Filipino ace set a course record nine-under 63 and chewed three shots off Wu Chun-Wei’s lead to move into solo second heading into the final round of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship in Pattaya, Thailand, on Saturday.
Wu still owns the tournament so far, stretching her advantage to four shots, but that deficit was much easier to handle than where Malixi started the third round from—seven strokes behind.
“It was pretty simple; I was just very consistent throughout the round,” said the ICTSI-backed Malixi, who also overhauled a four-stroke deficit in the final round to capture the Australian Master of the Amateurs crown last month. “My iron play was phenomenal; it made things a lot easier.”
“I think that was the key,” she added.
That, and a course that plays to her strengths.
“This course really fits my eye. It’s really a draw bias course, so it works in my favor,” she said.
And she proved that in the third round, gunning down four birdies at the front, including three straight from No. 5, then neon-lit her backside run with a 70-yard pitch for an eagle on the par-5 No. 10. She chased that off with a birdie at 11.
She’ll need more of that to overcome Wu, though.
“… I really think good iron play is such a huge key to this week. Hopefully, the putts will drop; that’s my main focus (in the final round),” Malixi said.
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