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Moment of truth for Malixi as Augusta National Amateur unfolds

MANILA, Philippines – Amid overwhelming emotions, Rianne Malixi remains composed as she faces her most significant challenge yet against the best and the brightest in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur firing off Wednesday in Augusta, Georgia.

“While it’s incredibly exciting, I’m trying to keep my emotions in check and maintain my focus on hitting targets, particularly at Champions Retreat,” said Malixi, emphasizing the importance of staying ground amid the excitement.

During Tuesday’s practice round at Champions Retreat, Malixi prioritized familiarizing herself with the course layout and honing her rhythm, recognizing the distinct challenges posed by its tight fairways and tricky greens.

The elite 72-player field features nine of the top 10 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and 2022 champion Anna Davis with the ICTSI-supported Malixi among the 29 debutants in the prestigious 54-hole championship, while 43 competitors are returning for another shot at glory.

Despite the daunting competition, Malixi draws confidence from her strong start to the season, including four Top 8 finishes, highlighted by a breakthrough overseas victory in the Women’s Australian Master of the Amateurs in January.

Her recent rise to world No. 26, following a commendable runner-up finish in the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley in South Carolina, has further bolstered her spirits.

The 17-year-old Malixi, who also finished second in last year’s US Girls’ Junior, clashes with Americans Latanna Stone and Laney Frye, ranked Nos. 30 and 58, respectively, in the world, at 9:44 a.m. on No. 10.

Meanwhile, World No. 1 Ingrid Lindblad from Sweden slugs it out with Japanese No. 8 Yuna Akari and American No. 15 Rachel Kuehn in a marquee matchup on No. 1, also at 9:44 a.m., while Davis mixes it up with England’s world No. 4 Lottie Woad and Colombia’s Maria Marin at 8:23 a.m. on No. 10.

American Jensen Castle, winner of the 2021 US Women’s Amateur, clashes with Thai sensation Eila Galitsky and Australian Maddison Tolchard at 8:12 a.m. on No. 1, while Sage Valley winner Asterisk Talley tangles with fellow American Jennie Park and Swede Nora Sundberg at 8:46 a.m., also on the first hole.