Two-way race seen in Ladies Open
Young Rianne Malixi and the battle-toughened Abby Arevalo set out as favorites starting Tuesday when the Philippine Ladies Open gets off the ground at posh Manila Golf Club inside Forbes Park in Makati.
Malixi, who nipped Arevalo in the national stroke play championship last month, are the top two locals tipped to win even as a number of foreign participants have signed up despite the coronavirus scare that has postponed or even canceled several big sporting events in the country.
Nicole Abelar and Eagle Ace Superal are the other two local aces expected to figure in the title hunt.
Airi Mitsuhashi of Japan, Aussie Angela Enqi and Fil-Guamanian Kristin Oberiano are the big foreign names vying in the 54-hole tournament, a World Amateur Golf Ranking event..
But focus will be on the 12-year-old Malixi and Arevalo, a 20-year-old who played NCAA golf with San Jose State University in the United States and is entertaining thoughts of turning pro later this year.
Malixi also emerged as the winningest player in the ranks last year after ruling the PH Junior Amateur Open at Sherwood Hills where she won the overall crown despite playing in a lower age-group category. She also dominated the PH Amateur Open Match Play and Northern Luzon Regional Championship.