RIANNE Malixi hiked her lead to three with a slid 71 in strong winds on Thursday in the third round of the National Stroke Play Championship at the Riviera Golf and Country Club in Silang, Cavite.
Malixi continued to stun the field with superb shotmaking and poise rarely seen in a 12-year-old, holing out with back-to-back birdies to save an even par card for a 214 total.
Abby Arevalo fought back from a 38 start with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 for a 72 and a 217 total for second spot.
“My shots were better than yesterday. I hope to sustain this kind of game tomorrow,” said Malixi.
Laurea Duque fell 12 strokes off the pace at 226 after a 76 for third, while last year’s champion and first day leader Lois Kaye Go failed to mount a comeback, carding a 77 for a 227.
Junia Gabasa and Korea’s Kim Seo Yun matched 74s for identical 228s, while Bernice Ilas recovered with a 74 for a 230.
Nicole Abelar shot an 82 for a 232, Samantha Dizon rallied with a 72 for a 233 and Eagle Ace Superal carded a 76 for a 234 in the kickoff leg of this year’s PLDT Group National Amateur Tour.
Malixi, out to match or surpass her three-title feat in the National Golf Association of the Philippines’ sanctioned tournaments last year, rebounded from a two-over start with birdies on Nos. 10 and 15. She overcame a double-bogey miscue on the par-5 16th with birdies in the last two, frustrating Arevalo, who had pulled to within one.
In men’s play,
Gwon Min Wook shot a 75 and maintained a seven-stroke lead
Wook had nines of 39-36 for a 216 aggregate.
Japan’s Atsushi Ueda is at 223 after a 72.
“Despite the wind, my game was okay,” said Wook.
Junior World titlist Aidric Chan dropped to third at 225 after a second 77 in three days while SEA Games bronze medal teammate Sean Ramos shot a 73 to gain a share of fourth at 226 with Ryan Monsalve, who stumbled with a 77.
Carl Corpus also shot a 77 for joint sixth at 227 with Weiwei Gao, who fumbled with a 79.
Davao’s Elee Bisera carded a 75 for solo eighth at 228 and last year’s champion Gen Nagai shot a 75 for 229 in a tie with fellow Japanese Kyosuke Yoshida, who hobbled with a 78.