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Golf booms during pandemic



Photograph by JOEY SANCHEZ MENDOZA for the daily tribune @tribunephl_joey RIANNE Mikhaela Malixi is a future LPGA Tour star.

Nearly two years after the coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down, golf has grown in scope and popularity.

Once typecast as a sport reserved for gray-haired men with bulging pockets, golf has been drawing a number of young players inspired by the overseas exploits of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and veteran Juvic Pagunsan, particularly in the recent Tokyo Games.

Somewhere in this 24-page issue, we’ll get to know our three Olympians better.

The country is not lacking in future LPGA stars. One of them is 14-year-old prodigy Rianne Mikhaela Malixi who graces our cover.

Since winning the national stroke play championship at the age of 12, Malixi’s stock continues to rise.

With the graduation of Saso and Pagdanganan from the amateur ranks, Malixi has taken on the mantle as one of the country’s top amateurs.

During the course of the interview, Malixi revealed that she had been a victim of bullying and used it as motivation to be a better person — and golfer.

We would like to thank the Royal Northwoods Golf and Country Club in San Rafael for providing the venue of the pictorial masterfully done by veteran photographer Joey Mendoza.

Also in this issue is an article about Pauline del Rosario and Abby Arevalo who are knocking at the door of the LPGA Tour. They are set to take part in the second stage of the LPGA Q-School in October.

September is also Ryder Cup month — the biennial event pitting the world’s best golfers from Europe and the United States against each other.

Marty Ilagan, our contributing photographer and a no-nonsense golfer himself, shared his shots of the Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, the Ryder Cup battleground.

Ilagan had the opportunity to play the iconic links-type course in 2016.

On the lighter side, we got to meet the lovely Julie Donne Ting who despite her hectic schedule as an automotive executive, can still find time to enjoy golf and her oufits of the day.

We also had a light exchange with celebrity chef JP Anglo who talked about how he rekindled his love affair with golf.

While at it, Chef JP listed down some of the best dishes he discovered while playing in different golf courses.

Lastly as a public service, we are providing the contact numbers of golf clubs across the country. Reserving tee times and making inquiries are now easier.