Leona Maguire wins Meijer LPGA Classic with stunning final round

Cavan woman shoots final round 64 to win second LPGA title

Behind the sunglasses lay the eyes of a golfing assassin, who performed her duties to perfection: Leona Maguire’s killer instinct down the stretch – producing a run of birdie-eagle-par-birdie-birdie-birdie from the 13th for a magnificent bogey-free round of 64 – gave the 28-year-old Co Cavan golfer victory in the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Michigan.

For Maguire, claiming her second career win on the LPGA Tour, the win more than compensated for past near-misses in the tournament, where she finished second to Nelly Korda and lost out in a playoff to Jennifer Kupcho a year ago.

This time, there was a sense of purpose and delivery in moving to the top on her own. A final round 64 for a total of 21-under-par 267 gave Maguire a two strokes winning margin over Ariya Jutanugarn and earned her a cheque for $375,000.

The brilliance of Maguire’s finish left no arguments; as others faltered, among them 54-hole leader Amy Yang who double-bogeyed the 16th in ultimately finishing in a tie for third, there was only a sure-footed march to glory from the Irishwoman who added the Meijer to the Drive On Championship which gave her a breakthrough win on the US circuit last year.


Of becoming a multiple winner, Maguire – who took just 29 putts and hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation on a hugely impressive performance – said: “I felt like I played some really good golf last year. Missed out in a playoff [in the Meijer], was second at the CME [Tour Championship]. You have to play really good golf to win, it’s tough. It’s a really nice feeling to get this one and especially heading into the Majors we have coming up.”

Indeed, Maguire won’t have time to rest on any laurels as she heads straight into the KPMG Women’s PGA at Baltusrol, the first Major in a squeezed run that will also bring the US Women’s Open, the Evian and the AIG Women’s Open in the coming weeks.

“I feel like my game has been in really good shape,” said Maguire, who moved up to sixth on the CME order of merit, revealed her coach Shane O’Grady had worked with her in Florida in her off-week and will be on-site for the KPMG PGA: “Yeah, just try more of the same. I think just stay patient and give myself as many chances as I can.”

Stephanie Meadow – who finished with a fine 68 for a total of 13-under-par 275 – was one of the first to congratulate Maguire as she made the short walk from the 18th green to the recorder’s hut.

In the Amundi German Masters on the Ladies European Tour, Olivia Mehaffey recovered from a tough front nine to post four birdies in her closing six holes for a 74 that left her in tied-12th position on 282. Czech Republic’s Kristyna Napoleaova beat England’s Cara Gainer at the first hole of a sudden-death play to take her first LET title.

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times