Rianne Malixi will be doubly motivated as she shoots for a third victory in as many stints on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour this year, armed with a game that must’ve instilled fear on the country’s top pros and fellow amateurs following a dominant triumph in the last LPGT stop at Valley Golf Club.
But more than the confidence, Malixi will be playing on an exacting course so dear to her.
“Langer is in great shape so far. I have fond memories of this course, so I’m confident playing this course in competitive means,” said Malixi, who edged now Epson Tour campaigner Abby Arevalo on the third extra hole to snare the Philippine National Stroke Play crown in 2020, becoming the youngest winner at 12 of what used to be the Philippine Amateur Golf Championship.
That should make her the player to beat again when the ICTSI Riviera Championship is fired off tomorrow (Tuesday) at the par-71 Langer layout ready to challenge both the women and men of the tour.
Malixi nipped multi-titled Princess Superal by one in this year’s kickoff leg at Luisita last March after closing out the 2021 LPGT season with a runway victory at Midlands last December. She skipped the next six LPGT events to campaign in the US junior and amateur championships then returned and beat Chihiro Ikeda by 13 strokes at Valley last month.
While Ikeda and fellow pros Sunshine Baraquiel, Harmie Constantino, Sarah Ababa, Marvi Monsalve, Martina Miñoza, Pamela Mariano, Lovelynn Guioguio, Kristine Fleetwood and Gretchen Villacencio, among others, have also honed up for this week’s battle to fan their respective title drive and halt the young star’s run, Malixi remains upbeat of her chances in the 54-hole championship put up by ICTSI.
Also out to provide a challenge are Malixi’s fellow amateurs Laurea Duque, Burberry Zhang, Korean Kim Seo Yun and ICTSI teammate Mafy Singson, who also humbled the pros at Splendido Taal last May but struggled to finish joint third with Constantino and Villacencio at Valley.
Completing the cast in the P750,000 tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. are Apple Fudolin, Lucy Landicho, Majorie Pulumbarit and Eva Miñoza.
Meanwhile, the tournament also serves as part of Malixi’s buildup for three tough events in Thailand.
“A week in Langer will definitely tell me where I stand prepping for Thailand,” said Malixi, who is set to vie in the Singha Thailand Amateur Open on Oct.18-21 in Bangkok, the Singha Thailand Junior World Championship on Oct 27-30 in Hua Hin, and the Women’s Asia Pacific Amateur Championship on Nov. 3-6 in Chonburi.