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Rianne winds up joint 12th

Rianne Malixi waged an early charge but hobbled at the finish, ending up with a 70 for a share of 12th in the Women’s Orlando International Amateur at the Orange Country National Golf Center and Lodge in Florida Friday.

Hong Kong’s Virginie Ding birdied the closing par-5 hole of the Panther course for the second straight day to salvage a 71 and nip second-day leader Megan Schofill by one with a 206 for her biggest win since ruling the Hong Kong Ladies Closed Amateur and Mid Amateur Championship in 2018.

From 10 shots down at 20th after 36 holes, Malixi mounted her rally with three birdies against a bogey after seven holes, gained another stroke on the 10th but missed a four-footer for birdie on the par-5 14th.

She, however, yielded a shot on the 16th to finish with a 34-36 and a 214, which included a 71 and 73, for a share of 12th with American Megan Propeck, who fumbled with a 75.

The ICTSI-backed shotmaker, who finished runner-up in the Malaysian Amateur Open and Citrus Golf Trail to move to No. 153 in the world amateur rankings, wound up eight strokes behind Ding, who led by one after 18 holes, fell by a shot in the second day but battled back with two birdies in the first three holes in the final round.

Ding reeled back with bogeys on 7, 8 and 11 but birdied two of the last seven, including the title-clinching feat on the last hole as Schofill cracked under pressure and blew her bid with bogeys on 13 and 16 for a 73 and a 207.

Malixi, winner of the Thailand Junior World Championship last October, takes a week-long rest to re-calibrate and toughen up for the Annika Invitational on 15 to 17 January at the Eagle Creek Golf Club, also in Orlando.

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