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Malixi fires 74, opens at T44

RIANNE Malixi cards a two-over-par 74 in the opening round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateurs at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Georgia. | DAVID CANNON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The Philippines’ top junior golfer Rianne Malixi turned in a two-over-par 74 on Wednesday amid a formidable field in the Augusta National Women’s Amateurs at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Georgia.

The 16-year-old Malixi, already with a title tucked under her belt this year, birdied the Par-5 fifth but came across a rough patch with bogeys on 6, 13 and 16.

She’s looking to at least make the cut and get the chance to play the hallowed Augusta National in the final round this weekend.

Hannah Darling of Scotland fired a six-under-par 66 to hold a one-stroke edge in the tournament against three other competitors who are jammed at No. 2.

Darling set a new Championship record for most birdies in a round with eight, including six birdies on her opening nine holes.

She also tied the record for low first-round score, equaling Rose Zhang’s opening 66 in 2023.

Italy’s Franccesca Fiorelli, Thailand’s Eila Galitzky and Sweden’s Ingrid Lindblad are all tied following identical 67s.

It is Malixi’s debut in the tough tournament. She’s carrying on the reputation here as the runner-up in the United States Girls Championship last year, and the Australian Masters of the Amateurs last January.

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