Eagle-eyed Leona finishes in style
Leona Maguire showed just why she is ranked as the number one woman golfer in the world as she made a stunning start to her bid for the Ladies British Open Amateur title at Portstewart yesterday.
The 20-year-old Curtis Cup star from Slieve Russell produced some brilliant golf over the last six holes of her first qualifying round, collecting three birdies, an eagle and two pars on her way to a six-under-par 67.
"I think I have had a six-under par at Portstewart before in the Irish Close Championship but the course the LGU have us playing on is not quite the same as we played then.
"I could have been even lower today as I did not take chances I had but I'll take a 67 at Portstewart any day," she said.
Maguire dropped a stroke at the second when she went through the green but that was her only bogey though and the round really took off at the 8th when she knocked in an eight-foot putt for a birdie.
The highlight of her round was on the 17th where she got on in two and holed out for an eagle three.
The County Cavan star put herself in line for a good match play draw by finishing the day just one stroke off the pace set by Swede Elin Esborn.
The other Maguire twin Lisa was off colour and needs to move up several gears today if she is to stay in contention. Her first round 78 leaves her outside the qualifying positions with another round today.
Lisburn's Paula Grant and Chloe Ryan of Castleroy and Royal County Down's Olivia Mehaffey are in strong positions to make the knock-out phase after scores of 74.
Mehaffey, who had one blackspot on her card with double bogey on the ninth, birdied two of the last five holes to put herself in contention for a match-play berth.
Maria Dunne of Skerries and Lahinch's Sinead Sexton need to improve following scores of 77 yesterday which put them in joint 74th place.