Ireland's Maguire eyes US Open pro debut
Leona Maguire has decided to give up the chance to make her amateur swansong in June's Curtis Cup and targeted a dream professional debut in the US Women's Open.
The Duke University star (23) has informed captain Elaine Farquharson-Black that she will turn pro before Great Britain and Ireland take on the USA in New York.
"Elaine was disappointed," explained the Slieve Russell talent, who helped GB&I to victory in her third Curtis Cup appearance at Dún Laoghaire in 2016.
"She'd love to have her strongest team going there in June but she understood that I have to take this next step in my career.
"I've been waiting a long time to turn pro and at this point I am ready to go. My experiences in the Curtis Cup have been unbelievable. The win in Dún Laoghaire will always be a highlight, especially to win at home against a very stacked US team.
"At this point I am just ready to make that next step and not delay it," she added.
Maguire is planning to mix LPGA Tour invitations with appearances on the second tier Symetra Tour as soon as the college season finishes on May 23.
“I will be playing catch up on the Symetra Tour as it is,” she said. “I’ll have already missed seven events so I’d like to get out there and get started at it as soon as my college career is over.”
Currently second in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Maguire has achieved almost all her amateur goals bar the NCAA team title and would love to bow out of the amateur game by winning the national crown with Duke in Oklahoma on May 23.
“To win the NCAAs would be the cherry on top so I am going into these last few events trying to top it all off as well as I can,” she said.
Before that she plans to tees it up with twin sister Lisa as an amateur in Sectional Qualifying for the US Women’s Open at Bermuda Run Country Club in North Carolina on May 15.
If she gets through the qualifier she will play as a professional in the US Women’s Open – the season’s second Major – at Shoal Creek in Alabama from May 31 to June 3, which is the week before the Curtis Cup.