3 Pinays exit U.S. Women’s Amateur

Rianne Mikhaela Malixi and Tomi Arejola carded 74 and 75, respectively, and failed to advance by one shot in the 122nd US Women’s Amateur Championship at the Chamber’s Bay in University Place, Washington Tuesday.

Nicole Abelar, who was in the best position after shooting one-under-par 72 in the first round, ballooned to an 80 and ended up two shots outside the cut pegged on 5-over.
The greens served as the trio’s graveyard.

Malixi, who started the day on 5-over, birdied 12 and set up a 15-foot birdie attempt on the par-5 13th hole.

Then, the roof caved in.

After missing the birdie try, the 15-year-old Filipina five-putted from four feet for a triple bogey.

It marked the first time Malixi putted that many in one hole, underscoring Chamber Bay’s tricky greens.

After parring the next five holes to reach the turn on 2-over, Malixi started her inward trip with back-to-back bogeys from the first hole.

Malixi fought back with four straight birdies starting from 2 only to drop another shot on 7 to finish 1-over par for the day.

Roy Malixi, the father, said Rianne was hitting the ball fine.

“It’s putting that gave her a lot of problems. The greens were difficult,” the elder Malixi said.

Arejola, on the other hand, missed the cut after her par putt from five feet on the final hole failed to drop.

“I putted so bad. I knew I needed at least three birdies to give it a chance. I did exactly that until that missed putt,” she rued.

Arejola had a bad start of two bogeys and a double bogey to reach the turn on 4-over 41. She birdied 10, 13, and 17 to get to the projected cutline but finished with a bogey.

Her first nine featured one 4-putt and two 3-putts.

“After I birdied 17, I was told I was already in. That got me nervous walking up to the next tee,” she recalled.

Arejola said her long game was good.

“I’m hitting my irons long and straight, especially my woods,” she said.

“Driver was kind of off but it’s always in play.”

Looking back, Arejola said she has two things to change in her game.

“It’s not rushing during decision making and handling anxiety during putting,” she said.

“If I did those two this week, I could have saved more than five strokes easily.”

Abelar also missed a lot of makeable putts as she completed her opening nine on 6-over par. She added two more birdies on 3 and 6 before making her first birdie on 7.

“Not a great day for me,” she said. “I struggled with my iron play and putting.”

Abelar said she’s taking her failure positively.

“This summer, I joined a lot of amateur and pro events to get ready for my fall semester,” said the 20-year-old.

“We will be starting in September. I have many goals to achieve so this won’t be the last of me.”

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