Rianne Malixi missed completing a big eagle-laced backside charge with a bogey-bogey windup as she carded 75 worth 38 points for provisional joint 16th place in the weather-suspended second round of the Mizuho Americans Open-AJGA Juniors in New Jersey Friday.
Malixi chipped in for eagle on No. 13, nearly holed in a long birdie try on the next but drained a five-footer off a solid approach on the 15th as she rallied from a four-over card after 10 holes marred by two double bogeys. But she missed the 17th green off a fairway bunker and failed to get up and down, then overshot the 18th, chipping way past the hole and ending up with another bogey at the Liberty National Golf Club course.
She improved from a 31-point output off a 77 in the first round with 34 Stableford points but gained just a couple of spots from a first-round share of 18th even as Yana Wilson stayed in control after 36 holes of the juniors competition of the event held side-by-side with the centerpiece LPGA Tour.
Wilson, who took charge with 41 points from a bogey-free 67 Thursday, firmed up her hold of the lead with four birdies against a bogey at the back then shot another birdie on No. 4. She double-bogeyed the fifth and parred the next three for clubhouse 36 points with one hole left for 77 points.
AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) No. 1 player Gianna Clemente finished her round with 38 points from a 70 as she moved to second with 72 points in a tie with Michelle Liu and Sara Im, who matched 72s for 35 and 36 points, respectively.
The ICTSI-backed Malixi birdied No. 4 to kick off her second round campaign but bogeyed the next and holed out with double bogeys that sandwiched her second birdie on No. 8 for a 15-point frontside output.
She bogeyed the 10th but came through with two superb shots to nearly reach the par-5 13th then chipped in for eagle worth 5 points then buried another putt for birdie from short range on No. 15 to spark an explosive finish for the 16-year-old two-time AJGA winner.
Meanwhile, Yuka Saso tottered with a 74 after a 69 and slipped from joint fifth to a share of 24th after 36 holes of the weather-delayed pro side of the $2.75 million championship now co-led by Minjee Lee and Cheyenne Knight.
Saso came away with three birdies but made three bogeys and a double bogey on No. 10 for a two-over card and a two-day total of 143, now six strokes behind Lee and Knight, who matched 137s outputs after a 64 and 68, respectively.
But Kiwi Lydia Ko moved right into the mix with a 138 after a second straight 69 while world No. 1 Jin Young Ko rallied with a 66 to stay in strong contention for a third LPGA win this year with a 139 for joint fourth with Canada’s Brooke Henderson (70), India’s Aditi Ashok (71), Thai Atthaya Thitikul (72) and rookie American Rose Zhang, who continued to impress with a 69.