Leona Maguire proves she’s got the brain to go with the game

Cavan golfer adds All-America academic honour after becoming first player to win Annika Award twice

World number one women's amateur golfer Leona Maguire capped a stellar week of achievement on Thursday as she was named as an Academic All-American, a day after becoming the first golfer to win the Annika Award as the outstanding women's golfer at collegiate level for a second time.

The 22-year-old from Cavan is a junior at Duke University in North Carolina, where she enjoyed a stunning season, winning the ACC Individual Championship among three tournament wins and finishing in the top five in eight of the 10 events she played in.

Maguire was also was runner-up at the NCAA championships and her stroke average of 70.29 was the lowest for the Annika Award winner since two-time Major winner Lorena Ochoa’s mark of 70.13 in 2002.

On top of that, Maguire also kept her grades as she completed her studies in psychology with a 3.934 grade-point average to become just the second Duke women’s golfer to receive Academic All-America recognition.


Speaking after receiving her Annika Award – named after Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam – Maguire said: "This award is a huge honour for me and to win it for the second time is a very special feeling.

“To win an award that Annika has put her name to and that is voted on by my fellow coaches, competitors and the media. It is a very unique award and something I am very, very proud to get the opportunity to win the award again.”

Maguire also won the Annika Award in her first year at Duke.

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist