A weekend to remember for Slieve Russell National star Leona Maguire who recorded a career-best Major championship finish, as she tied 18th in the ANA Inspiration in the scorching heat of southern California.
Following rounds of 73, 72 and 68, Maguire carded three birdies in a faultless round of 69 to reach six-under par for the tournament. Competing in her fourth major as a professional, this was the Cavan golfer’s best finish since the 2015 Evian Championship, where she claimed a tie for 34th as a 19-year old amateur.
It was a slow burner for Maguire who found herself off the pace in her opening two rounds but fought back valiantly to card her best ever finish.
On day one of the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills in California, Maguire began with a one-over for 73, to end the day tied for 57th place. Maguire was solid in the opening 11 holes where she was one-under but dropped shots at the 13th, 14th and 16th before making it home in four at the lakeside 18th.
On the Friday, Maguire finished the day tied for 22nd with a solid level-par 72 – featuring two birdies and two bogeys. Saturday is where Maguire kicked her Major championship into gear with a superb four-under par 68. Maguire started the day one-over par and the ModestGolf athlete banked five birdies in a marvellous display with just the one blemish on the card to leave her sharing 28th, nine-shots off the leading pack.
On the final day of the championship, the Cavan star kept her foot on the pedal and secured her first bogey-free round of the tournament. Maguire carded three birdies and closed with a final round of 69 to finish 6-under for the tournament and secure a tie for 18th.
The result saw her claim just under $40,000 in winnings and move up to 53rd on the Race to CME Globe. Due to the current pandemic, Maguire’s place on next season’s LPGA Tour is guaranteed so her attention is likely to be on trying to secure a spot for the Solheim Cup in 2021.
Stephanie Meadow was unable to capitalise on her sparkling opening two rounds at Rancho Mirage and will be disappointed with her final day of the Championships.
The Jordanstown star ended her opening round just four shots off the lead after a two-under par round. Meadow birded four holes and bogeyed two. The Antrim woman finished her second round tied for 22nd following a steady round where she birdied two and bogeyed one on the fourth hole.
The weekend was not so kind to Meadow who lost her way in the third and fourth round. In round three, Meadow carded one over. A steady front nine was undone by lost shots on the 14th and 16th. Sunday was more difficult for Meadow who closed with a round of 76, bogeying five holes and birdied one to finish joint 51st on two-over par.
Completing the Irish trio at the championship was amateur Olivia Mehaffey. Mehaffey was only one of two amateurs in the field but that did not stop her from securing her first ever professional Major cut on Friday. Mehaffey, who was due to turn pro this summer before the pandemic had other ideas, finished the tournament tied for 74th with 13-over for the tournament.
South Korea’s Mirim Lee took home the Major following a three-way play-off with Korda and Henderson.