Malixi, Avaricio, Uy brace for fiery starts

PHOTOGRAPH courtesy of PGT CHANELLE Avaricio is gunning for a strong start when she joins Rianne Malixi and Daniella Uy in the 9 a.m. flight of the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic.

BACOLOD CITY — While top amateur Rianne Malixi looms as the marked player this week, the rest of the compact but talent-laden Ladies Philippine Golf Tour field go all out to foil her bid and fuel their respective title drives in the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic presented by MORE Power beginning Wednesday at the Marapara course here.

For one, Chanelle Avaricio is hoping to turn her eagerness into a winning attack as she tries to match or surpass her three-leg victory last year with renewed enthusiasm and a battle plan needed in this kind of campaign.

“I’m super excited to have another opportunity to play the whole year. It’s my first time here at Marapara and it’s very tight, but hopefully, I’ll do well this week,” said Avaricio, who scored an ace and rallied to finish 16th in the Anvaya Cove International last month.

“I played okay at Anvaya, especially on the last day. But I didn’t do well in the Thai LPGA, so hopefully, I’ll play better,” she added, referring to her missed cut stint in Thailand last week.

But she hopes to build some confidence with a strong finish in the 54-hole LPGT championship, saying: “I need to build on my confidence, mental game and course management.”

“I don’t know my chances, to be honest, I haven’t been playing well but I’ll try to stay positive the whole week,” Avaricio said.

So will the rest of the cast, including Malixi, who is coming off a tied 13th place finish in last Sunday’s Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific Championship in Singapore.

The 16-year-old shotmaker, however, is still expected to flaunt her superb skills the way she did in her three LPGT stints last year, which she swept.

“There might be a fatigue factor heading to this event but it’s more of the conditioning and I was trained for tournaments like this so I think I’m handling it pretty well for this event,” Malixi said.

“Another (LPGT) victory would mean a lot but I won’t be thinking about that win, it’s more of shot-by-shot and my game plan for this course.”

“I’m not sure how my game would go (for this course). I haven’t seen it, I haven’t walked it yet, so let’s see what’s up later.”

Malixi and Avaricio set out for an early duel in the 9 a.m. flight with Daniella Uy.

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