HANOI— His ball is plugged into the hole, deep into the sticky rough and requires more than a deft touch to make a perfect landing, Ryan Malixie had a mentality that was probably different from the ones in the gallery.
“Whether I pin the ball to the pin or take it inside the hole, the boogie was never an option,” said Malixie, referring to Wednesday’s tough shot that was shown on a worldwide livestream and will be remembered for a long time.
In a thrilling moment, 15-year-old Malixi bravely rocked her 58-degree wedge into a small three-yard hop that crawled about five yards toward the pin before falling into the pit, triggering a wild celebration. Members of Team Philippines in the gallery.
After hitting one clutch shot after another, Melixie drives one of the most important clutches in the extra hole, awarding a bronze medal to the Philippine golf squad at the Southeast Asian Games here.
“When I got to my ball, I felt like I could handle it because I was practicing on virtually the same shot before and it didn’t really scare me,” said Maxi. “And in the playoffs I’m always lucky.”
That chip-in took Birdie Malixie past the playoff hardlock Haley Loh who decided to win the bronze medal after a 1-1 tie for the Philippines and Singapore in the constitutional game. He has now won at least five tournaments through the playoffs, including three international games.
Melixie came to Hanoi hoping to compete for individual gold, but her fight in the green prevented her bid for a podium finish in the individual race.
“It simply came to our notice then. I have to keep my focus because every stroke is important in a match, ”he said.
Putin was his worst enemy when the Philippines faced Thailand in the semifinals, where he lost to individual gold medalist Nathakrita Bhantavilap despite his hard ball striking which allowed him to fight his enemy head-to-head in 17 holes.
Fortunately, Maliksi did not need his potter to win an important match for his team.
He did it from outside the green.
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