Silang, Cavite—Rianne Malixi gets another chance to prove her worth against some of the country’s top lady pros and fellow amateurs she humbled the last time out, clashing with Harmie Constantino and title-hungry Marvi Monsalve at the start of the ICTSI Riviera Championship here today (Tuesday).
Malixi skipped yesterday’s pro-am to best prepare herself for an exhausting test of endurance at the rolling Langer layout while relying on her fond memories of the exacting course where she reigned as champion of the Philippine National Stroke Play in 2020 in record fashion.
But it’s her current form, honed by a series of competitions abroad, that should spur the rising star to shoot for a follow-up to her astounding 13-stroke triumph over Chihiro Ikeda in the last Ladies Philippine Golf Tour stop at Valley Golf Club last month.
Constantino and Monsalve, however, are both out to provide the early challenge and pressure for the two-time AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) champion in their 12:10 p.m. flight with Ikeda, who also opted to take a break yesterday, bracing for a demanding duel with Sunshine Baraquiel and Mafy Singson at 11:50 a.m., both on No. 1.
“This is going to be a different battle. Langer is a long course and there are so many tests to consider and overcome,” said Ikeda, winner at Mount Malarayat and Eagle Ridge-Aoki but who is itching to atone for blowout loss to Malixi at Valley.
Singson, who swept the LPGT pro trophy and the low amateur honors at Splendido Taal last May, is also out to make up for her mediocre showing at Valley that saw her struggle with 77 and 81 rounds before rallying with a 74 to salvage joint third with Constantino and Gretchen Villacencio.
“Emphasis is on the short game but every shot counts here,” said Sarah Ababa, still in search for a follow-up victory to her breakthrough triumph at Sherwood Hills way back in 2015.
She launches her bid at 11:40 a.m. with Villacencio and Pamela Mariano.
Laurea Duque, meanwhile, also tries to put herself into early contention against Kristine Fleetwood and Apple Fudolin at 12 noon and crowd Malixi and Singson not just for the overall crown but also for the amateur honors.
Korean Kim Seoyun and fellow amateur Burberry Zhang, meanwhile, kick off their respective bids against Lucy Landicho and Eva Miñoza at 12:20 p.m. and versus Lovelynn Guioguio and Majorie Pulumbarit at 12:30 p.m., respectively.
But no one infuses so much fear than Malixi, who beat multi-titled Princess Superal at Luisita last March after closing out the 2021 season with an emphatic win at Midlands last December.