Different Strokes: perfect timing for Leona Maguire?

LPGA Tour going from strength to strength, McManus Pro-Am attracts star-studded field

Perfect timing for Leona Maguire?

Leona Maguire will celebrate her 25th birthday on Saturday with golf clubs in hand, making a rare enough appearance on the Ladies European Tour when the Co Cavan golfer competes in the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open which boasts a total purse of €300,000.

It will be just her sixth appearance of the season on the LET, which is understandable given Maguire’s primary focus was stateside this year as she sought her full LPGA Tour card through the Symetra Tour route.

Her success in earning a full tour card on the LPGA Tour couldn’t have been better timed, with the US circuit a world removed from the LET. The new LPGA Tour schedule for 2020 has been released, revealing that players will play for a record $75 million next year, some $5 million more than this year.

“I could not be more excited about what the future will bring for the LPGA Tour and the sponsors that support us,” said LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a statement. “That number (of increased prizemoney) is a testament to the support we are receiving from sponsors and industry partners around the globe,” he added.


Among the 33 tournaments worldwide on the LPGA’s schedule for next year is the return of the International Crown team event, which will take place in Scotland. The schedule will feature events mainly in the United States but also in Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Taipei, South Korea, China, Scotland, England and Canada.

“As I enter my second decade as commissioner, we find ourselves in a new phase of the LPGA Tour. We’ve grown, but now we must flourish. We talk a lot about the next generation, but we lift this generation. I know a lot of our fans understand the difference we are making for women’s golf in America but they might be surprised to know about the impact our tour is having all around the globe,” added Whan.

Anyway, that is the world that Maguire will move on to next year as the LPGA Tour grows ever bigger. A case of perfect timing?

McManus Pro-Am attracts star-studded field

Adam Scott, Luke Donald and David Duval have - literally - thrown their hats into the ring as the latest confirmed players for next year's JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor next July. . . and, with the event already a sell out, the tournament host has offered an additional 100 tickets (in the form of caps) to be put up for public tender.

“We hope to raise as much as possible for organisations most in need. We thank the public for submitting so many bids during the last tender and congratulate those who were successful. We’d again encourage anybody who wants a ticket either for themselves or as a Christmas present to place their bid as soon as possible,” said McManus.

Among those committed to playing in the two-day tournament are Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose along with actors Mark Wahlberg and Jamie Dornan and singer Niall Horan.

This will be the sixth staging of the Pro-Am, and first since 2010 when in excess of €43 million was raised for various causes in the Limerick and Mid-West region.

In Numbers

1,500,000 - Sei Young Kim claimed the biggest winner's prize in women's professional golf when earning a $1.5million payday in the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship on the LPGA Tour. Kim sank a 25-footer birdie putt on the 18th green to edge out England's Charley Hull by a shot. "I knew I was on a good line. I did not know it was going in, but once I heard the gallery scream, I think simultaneously I knew that it was going in."

Word of Mouth (I)

“I’m just excited to put my phone on airplane mode and just get away. I don’t even care if I just do nothing, just sit out by the pool” - Lexi Thompson looking forward to a holiday after wrapping up her LPGA Tour season at the CME Group Tour Championship. Her year’s work is not fully done, however, as Thompson is due to team-up with Sean O’Hair in next month’s Shark Shootout.

In the Bag

Jon Rahm - DP World Tour Championship
Driver - TaylorMade M5 (10.5 degrees)
3-wood - TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)
5-wood - TaylorMade M5 (19 degrees)
Irons - TaylorMade P750 (4-PW)
Wedges - TaylorMade MG Hi-Toe (52 and 56 degrees), TaylorMade MG2 (60 degrees)
Putter - TaylorMade Spider X copper
Ball - TP5 (#10)

Twitter Twaddle

"Great to finally have another Spaniard on top of the #RacetoDubai at the end of the season after Seve many moons ago! Well done @JonRahmpga, amazing season! Very proud of you!" - Sergio Garcia tips his cap to Jon Rahm on his double success in Dubai.

"End of my best season yet on @EuropeanTour, been a hell of a year! Always nice to see the hard work pay off from everything you put into the plan in the off season. Plenty more room for improvement, time for a break . . . . thanks @dpwtc for another fantastic week, always a great end to the season! Congrats to @JonRahmpga on a very impressive performance!" - Matt Fitzpatrick on his upward trending. The Englishman finished fifth on the Race to Dubai order of merit and has moved to 25th in the latest official world rankings.

“What. A. Day.” - Tyler Duncan on his breakthrough win in the RSM Classic at Sea Island on the PGA Tour. Duncan won out in a play-off with former US Open champion Webb Simpson.

Know the Rules


In searching for her ball in the rough, Player A accidentally moves the ball with her foot and, under rule, is required to replace the ball without penalty. However, instead of replacing her ball on the original or estimated spot, the player drops the ball on that spot, the ball bounces and comes to rest on another spot and she plays from there. What is the ruling?


The player has replaced the ball in a wrong way and has also played from a wrong place. Because the player’s breaches of the rules were a combination of a procedural breach (replacing the ball in a wrong way under Rule 14.2b(2)) and playing from a wrong place in breach of Rule 14.7a, the player gets a total of two penalty strokes.

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times