Alyaa sizzles again as she finishes runner-up at Gold Rush

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s top amateur golfer Alyaa Abdulghany continued her sizzling start in the new season of the United States collegiate golf by emerging runner-up at The Gold Rush championship in California.

The 21-year-old, who’s a final-year student at the University of Southern California (USC), fired a four-under 68 to finish four shots behind American teammate Allisen Corpuz on a three-round total of six-under 210 at the Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach on Tuesday.

Malia Nam made it a glorious 1-2-3 finish for the USC by coming in third on 216.

The trio inspired USC to a whopping 34-shot victory over University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and California Polytechnic State University in the 11-team contest after carding an even par 864 total.

For Alyaa, the second placing marked her best outing in a collegiate event since capturing Battle at The Rock in California two years ago.

She has now registered a total of 14 top-10 finishes since her debut season in 2017, including two more from the previous weeks.

Alyaa opened the season tying for 10th and fourth respectively at the Lamkin San Diego Invitational and Sun Devil Winter Classic.

The decent outing this week is expected to propel Alyaa up from her current No. 35 position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

Alyaa will seek to translate her consistent form into victory as she turns her attention to the Wildcat Invitational from March 8-9.

Alyaa has certainly picked up where she left off last year.

In spite of a pandemic-shortened season, Alyaa still enjoyed a memorable year especially after making it to the semi-finals of the US Women’s Amateur Championship and also winning the Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship. The joint-third outing at the US Women’s Amateurs catapulted her to a career-best No. 24 in the WAGR.

She also became the first Malaysian to feature in the Arnold Palmer Cup, an annual prestigious Ryder Cup-style showdown involving the cream of the crop of collegiate golfers in the US.

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