Rianne Malixi turned in a second straight 70 and cruised to the US Women’s Amateur Match Play as she finished tied for 18th after the 36-hole stroke play qualifying at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, California Tuesday.
She eventually took the No. 23 seeding, matching her tied for 24th placing in last month’s US Girls’ Junior in Colorado that saw her dispatch five rivals in varying fashions in the knockout stage before yielding a one-hole result to Fil-Am Kiara Romero in the 36-hole final.
Malixi, whose campaigned is sponsored by ICTSI, will face American Ellie Koo, who charged back with a 68 to tie for 39th, at 12:30 p.m. The unranked Californian from Harvard-Westlake Athletics wound up at No. 42.
A victory will set up the 16-year-old Malixi against the winner in the Malia Nam-Bailey Shoemaker duel.
Malixi, ranked No. 75 in the Women’s Amateur Golf, actually found Bel-Air’s surface a bit faster, three-putting the signature par-3 No. 10 where she teed off. She regained the stroke with a five-foot birdie at the par-5 No. 14, only to drop it on a missed green mishap on the next.
She practically settled for regulation pars in the next nine holes before banging in a 12-footer on the par-4 seventh to turn in a pair of 35s and match her first round output for a 140 total at the demanding par-70 layout.
She tied the likes of world No. 17 Rin Yoshida of Japan, who also carded a 70, last week’s Canadian Amateur winner Lauren Kim, who fired a 69, and Thai Thanana Kotcha sanmanee, who made a 71.
American Briana Chacon, with a world ranking of No. 104, grabbed the low medal honors in record fashion, finishing with a 131 after an eagle-spiked 65, two strokes clear of Swede Andrea Lignell, the world No. 19 who also put in a five-under card laced with seven birdies against a double-bogey, for a 133.