PETALING JAYA: Alyaa Abdulghany looks set to strengthen her position as the current No. 1 women’s amateur golfer in 2020 after winning the prestigious Australian Master of the Amateurs in style earlier this week.
The 20-year-old made a superb comeback to secure the biggest international title of her career when she made a birdie strike in the first playoff hole to beat Australia’s Cassie Porter and Taiwan’s Ho Yu-an at the Victoria Golf Club.
Alyaa, who is a junior at University of Southern California in United States, forced herself into a three-way play-off with a birdie on the 18th hole of the final round.
Alyaa, who was part of the Malaysian women’s team who bagged silver at the Philippines SEA Games last month, finished on two-under 286 on the back of rounds of 72,70,71 and 73.
The Malaysian felt the door was open for her to take advantage after Porter bogeyed the final hole for a final round of three-over 75.
With the win, she picked up the women’s Green Jacket and an invitation to play on the famed Augusta grounds for this year’s Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April.
Alyaa is set to improve on her current amateur world rankings where she is ranked 63rd.
Alyaa, who is a permanent resident in the US but still holds a Malaysian passport, was thrilled to start the year with a bang.
“I have been close before on the international front. I won in the States last year (SCGA Women’s Amateur Championship) but this is a more special victory and one that I will remember for a while, ” said Alyaa.
“This win is an important boost for me as I look forward to the start of the college season.
“Wind and pin placements really tested us. I have not played courses like this before and it’s very different to what we play back home. But I’m pleased to have come here to play, ” added the Johor-born Alyaa, who moved to California with her family when she was six.
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