PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Alyaa Abdulghany chalked up her best result on the Epson Tour with a joint second place finish in the US$200,000 Inova Mission Inn Resort & Club Championship in Florida yesterday.

Alyaa carded rounds of 72, 71 and 68 for an eight-under-par 211 total at Mission Inn’s par-73 El Campeón Championship Course. She nailed five birdies in a flawless closing round to share runner-up honours with Lindy Duncan of the United States, two shots behind Jiwon Jeon of South Korea who claimed her maiden Epson Tour title.

“I was just trying to push myself today. I know I can make some putts and hit some good shots, I just had to stick with my plan and take advantage of what I had. It is a tough course,so I am happy with how I played,” said Alyaa, who turned professional in 2021 following a much-decorated collegiate golf career with the University of Southern California.

This was Alyaa’s third top-10 in six starts this year and marked a welcome return to form following a missed cut in last week’s IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty. The 24-year-old pocketed a cheque for US$16,273 to climb up to 11th place on the Epson Tour’s Race For The Card standings with US$33,320 in season winnings.

Compatriot Natasha Andrea Oon meanwhile continued her fine run of results this season with a joint seventh finish on five-under-par 214 (71-72-71). She won US$5,054 and remains in second place on the Race To The Card ladder with US$60,891.

The Epson Tour is the official qualifying circuit for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. The top 10 players following the season-ending Epson Tour Championship in October will earn LPGA cards for 2024. Australia’s Gabriela Ruffels leads the standings with US$93,219.

Alyaa will be skipping this week’s Champions Fore Change Invitational in North Carolina and will head west to California to prepare for the US Women’s Open Qualifying Tournament at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in San Diego on June 5. She qualified for last year’s US Women’s Open but missed the cut at Pine Needles in North Carolina.

The 78th US Women’s Open will be held at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links in California on July 6-9.