South Korea pads lead to 4; Malixi slides to second in Queen Srikit

Rianne Malixi

Carmona, Cavite — The South Koreans battled firm greens and a moderate windy condition at the Masters, playing the second round with enough aggressiveness to extend their lead ina the team competition after the second round of the 43rd Queen Sirikit Cup held at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club here Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Yoo Hyun-jo and Kim Min-sol each shot a 71 for 142 to hike its total to 281. Four shots at 285 was India, which got a monster performance from Avani Prashanth, who had a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie finish in the final four holes for a six-under 66 with Vidhatri Urs’ 77 counting in the three-to-play, two-to-count format.

Defending champion Japan, China and Hong Kong were all tied at 288, followed by Thailand 289 and the host Philippines 290.

“Our girls were not able to adjust to the sudden shift of conditions at the Masters,” said Philippine captain Ann Granada, noting that Rianne Malixi struggled to a one-over 73, Mafy Singson a three-over 75 and Lois Kaye Go an eight-over 80.

Although down by nine, Granada is still hopeful of a shot at the title, or at least a podium finish, but she would need to have big games from Go and Singson.

“I am looking forward to that moving day on Thursday. We need to forget what happened today and see how we can get into title contention tomorrow,” she also said.

In the individual play, India’s Avani claimed solo leadership with a 10-under 134 total in 36 holes. Malixi, Yoo and Fiona Xu of New Zealand were tied at three-under 141. An Tong of China, Arianna Lau of Hong Kong, Huang Ting-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei and Sriwong Achiraya of Thailand were bunched at 143.