Mikhaela Fortuna came away with back-to-back four-under 68s and edged Malaysian ace Winnie Ng by one to snare the 12th 100Plus Malaysian Junior Open Championship crown at the Grenmarie Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Fortuna recovered strong from a mediocre even par 72 in the first round with those 68s to finish with a 208, foiling Ng, who dominated the opener with a 68 but slowed down with 71 and 70 for 209.
Three Malaysians took the next spots with Natasha Oon carding a 75 to share third place with Liyana Durisic, who had a 77, at 218 and Ashley Lau winding up fifth at 219 after a 69.
Sofia Chabon and Bernice Ilas-Olivarez, Fortuna’s teammates in The Country Club stable, wound up 10th and 13th at 226 and 229 after a 75 and 78, respectively.
“I just hung in there and tried not to be intimidated by Ng’s rally. I’m so happy to have pulled it off,” said Fortuna, who is heading to the Oklahoma University next year on a full scholarship.
The also snapped a long title spell for one of TCC coach Bong Lopez’s wards, who has qualified for the US Girls’ Championship the last three years but last tasted victory in the FCG Challenge Cup in 2016.
Fortuna still trailed Ng by one heading to the final round of the 54-hole event serving as the host country’s premier junior tournament that featured some of the region’s leading players in the ranks.
But she sizzled with a three-under card after nine holes and tied Ng, who had a 34, for the lead stormed ahead with back-to-back birdies from No. 11, only to fall into a tie again with a bogey on the next which Ng birdied.
Fortuna, however, pounced on her rival’s double-mishap on No. 14 then went 3-up with another Ng bogey on the next. She steeled herself up after the local ace birdied the 17th then came through with a clutch pitch for a tap-in par, frustrating Ng no end after the latter set up another four-footer for another birdie on the final hole.