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Rianne leads Pinays’ bid

Rianne Mikhaela Malixi hopes to ride on the momentum of her victory in the Singha Thailand Junior World Championships last week when she sees action in the Women’s Asia Pacific Championship at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya, Thailand Thursday.

The 15-year-old prodigy will be ranged against some of the world’s top amateurs led by fourth-ranked Saki Baba.

Despite the quality cast, Malixi is looking forward to the challenge.

“I’ve never played Siam in competition, so this week will be interesting,” she said.

Malixi will be playing her third straight tournament in as many weeks and is not about to put pressure on herself.

“I just aim to excel in most aspects of my game this week,” she said.

Malixi will be playing her 19th tournament this season, including stints in the United States.

She has had six victories, including two in the domestic pro circuit.

Despite the rigors of training and tournament play, Roy, her father, said they make sure Rianne would not suffer from burnout.

“Mentally, she has not experienced it yet,” he said. “Physically, she did a few times. She bathed herself with ice water and relaxed for two days.”

Malixi, ranked 262, has drawn world No. 22 Minsol Kim of South Korea and No. 161 Caitlyn Pierce of Australia in one of the early flights.

The course has a sloping terrain with several creeks and lakes coming into play.

Three other Filipinas are in the 86-player cast – Lois Kaye Go, Mikha Fortuna, and Mafy Singson.

Go, the top-ranked Filipina at 223, is paired with Aussie Eunseo Choi and Japanese Miku Ueta on hole No. 10.

Singson will play with Singapore’s Jaymie Ng and Thai Navaporn Soontreeyapas at 11:49 a.m. on the 10th hole while Fortuna will tee off at 7:33 a.m. alongside Aussie Tara Raj and Singapore’s Aloysa Atienza.

The winner on Sunday will earn invitations to play in two major tournaments in the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour and an exemption into the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.

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