KOREA’S Hyo Song Lee put up another solid 69 to dash whatever hopes Rianne Malixi had had for a final round comeback, bagging the Malaysian Amateur Open crown via a six-shot victory over the Filipina ace, who closed out with a second straight 71 at Palm Resort’s Cempaka course in Johor Bahru yesterday.
The reigning Korean Amateur Open champion, who wrapped up Saturday’s third round with a bogey-free three-under card and a four-stroke bulge, padded her lead to six at the turn with a 35 then virtually matched Malixi’s two closing birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 to cruise to the lopsided triumph on a remarkable 11-under 277 total.
Malixi equaled Lee’s birdie on No. 4 but dropped strokes on the next and on the ninth and never recovered from six shots down although the ICTSI-backed member of the 2022 American Junior Golf Association All-Star squad and the Rolex Junior All-American First team birdied Nos. 16 and 18 for the second straight day to save a 71 for a five-under 283 aggregate.
Singapore’s Aloysa Atienza matched par 72 to finish third at 286 while Hyo Jin Yang, also from Korea, matched her compatriot’s closing card for fourth at 288 with Lois Kaye Go ending up fifth at 289 after a 73.
Malixi, 15, had braced for a strong start but struggled coming off a birdie on the fourth. She birdied the 10th but gave up the stroke on the next then snapped a run of pars with birdies on the last two holes.
Lee, in contrast, was just as solid and steady as she was in the third round, never forcing the issue as she settled for routine pars while cashing in on every birdie opportunities on her to a trouble-free victory in the 118th staging of the World Amateur Golf Ranking event.
Mafy Singson, who bounced back from a pair of 77s with a 72 in the third round, struggled again and wound up with another five-over card to end up at 16th with a 303.
In men’s play, Elee Bisera stumbled with a 74 after a third round 68, ending up tied for sixth at 293, 10 strokes behind Sung Ho Lee, who capped the Koreans’ domination by coasting to a four-stroke romp on a 283 total after a 71.
Seung Hyun Pi made it a 1-2 finish for the Koreans as he closed out with a 70 for a 287 while Singapore’s Ryan Ang fumbled with a 74 for 288 for third.
Shinichi Suzuki, who also rallied with a 69 Saturday, limped with an 80 and wound up 10th with a 297 total.