Leona Maguire makes late push to grab lead at Women’s PGA Championship

Closing birdie puts Cavan golfer one clear as she goes in search of first Major

A closing birdie on the par-three ninth hole helped push Leona Maguire one shot clear of the field as the Irish golfer looks to win her first Major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in New Jersey.

Maguire, who won her second LPGA event at last week’s Meijer LPGA Classic, has three top-10s at Majors but is seeking her first title.

The 28-year-old from Cavan birdied three of her final four holes to shoot a three-under 68 to move to five under, one shot clear of a trio of golfers that includes England’s Mel Reid, who carded a joint best of the day of 67. Xiyu Lin of China and LPGA rookie Celine Borge of Norway are also on four under.

“This is uncharted territory for me,” Maguire said. “Whatever happens this week, I’m sure I’ll learn a lot, and just sort of taking it one day at a time.


“I think this golf course demands that. I think you can’t think more than one shot ahead, let alone a hole or a round ahead.”

World number five Minjee Lee of Australia matched Reid’s 67 to make a late push to three under. She was tied for fifth with Lee-Anne Pace (73). The South African led after one round and moved to six under early Friday before making three bogeys over her final seven holes.

Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow matched Maguire’s 68 to move to one under and a share of eighth position going into the weekend.

World number two Nelly Korda, in her first start after missing more than a month with back pain, won’t play at the weekend after finishing 11-over 153 after rounds of 76 and 77).

Also missing the cut were recent Major winners Lilia Vu (six over), Jennifer Kupcho (seven over), Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand (eight over) and Sei Young Kim of South Korea (eight over).