Leona Maguire continued her bright start as a professional securing back-to-back top-five finishes on the Symetra tour after she tied for fourth at the IOA Championship in California.
Maguire opened her first round with a fantastic four-under par as she shot 68, on Saturday. She followed this up with another sublime bogey-free round of 69, three-under and lead the field heading into the final round on Sunday, 7-under par and one shot ahead of the chasing pack.
The Cavan golfer who carries serious pedigree at amateur level, turned professional in June of last year. Maguire holds the all-time record for most weeks spent as number 1 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, amassing an incredible 135 weeks.
This was her first real opportunity to record her first win as a professional however a difficult front nine on Sunday set her back. Four bogey’s and a double-bogey in difficult weather conditions wasn’t the start she wanted. To her credit she steadied the ship and managed nine pars and a birdie in her final ten holes.
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and a final round of 77 saw her finish just two shots behind the winner Jillian Hollis. Even though it wasn’t the finish Maguire would have wanted, she will recorded her highest finish to date following previous results of 44th, 20th, 14th, 25th and 5th.
A huge positive for Maguire was how she reacted to an unforgiving front nine. Maguire dug deep to show great character and mental strength to battle back and secure a top five finish.
Speaking to irishgolfer.ie Maguire was rightly optimistic about her performance.
“I played well and think some of those pins on the front nine greens were a bit ridiculous,”
“There was just no way to stop the ball. I played as well as I could, my pace putting probably wasn’t great on the front nine and that kind of killed me but I hung in there on the back nine and tried to finish as strong as I could.”
Maguire also finds herself in 7th place overall on the Symetra Tour and she will need to stay in the top ten to guarantee a card on next season’s Ladies PGA Tour. This is a very realistic target for Maguire who is settling into the professional game very nicely. Last year she missed out on valuable tournaments and was playing catch-up to her competitors so for her to be in contention so early on bodes well for the remainder of the season.
Next up for Maguire is the Windsor Golf Classic from 5 April – 7 April.
VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD
- Julieta Granada (Asuncion, Paraguay) – $30,887
- Jillian Hollis – $26,875
- Lauren Coughlin (Charlottesville, Virginia) – $22,088
- Demi Runas (Torrance, California) – $18,923
- Kelly Tan (Batu Pahat, Malaysia)- $18,750
- Karen Chung (Livingston, New Jersey) – $15,976
- Leona Maguire (Cavan, Ireland) – $14,010
- Kyung Kim (Chandler, Arizona) – $13,817
- Amy Lee – $12,690
- Jean Reynolds (Newnan, Georgia) – $12,152