Tuesday 23 January 2018

Leona shoots blistering 64 to drag Irish into last eight

Golf

Teenage sensation Leona Maguire produced the most amazing display of her fledgling career yesterday to haul Ireland up the leaderboard and safely into the top flight of the European Women's Team Championship over the Murhof course in Austria.

The 16-year-old Irish Open Stroke Play champion from Slieve Russell, Co Cavan, fired a remarkable eight-under-par 64 with level halves of 32.

Not only did that take Ireland into the last eight, as they moved from 12th overnight to fifth, but it also propelled Great Britain and Ireland international Maguire to the top of the individual rankings.

Maguire had nine birdies and her only black spot was a bogey five on the sixth. Carlow's Karen Delaney was the only other Irish player to break par -- she posted a 71, with halves of 34 and 37, while Royal County Down's 2009 British Stroke Play champion Danielle McVeigh matched the par of 72.

Lisa Maguire took 73 and Stephanie Meadow 74, leaving the 75 of Charlene Reid the non-counting score. Germany actually led the qualifiers into the top eight, beating Denmark by two strokes.

Ireland improved by 18 strokes on their first-round display and will now face Sweden today in the first match play contest. In the other quarter-finals, Germany take on France while Denmark meet Belgium and Spain face England.

With Maguire and her twin sister Lisa playing in the senior event, Ireland's girls are struggling in their Euro championship in Sardinia and failed to make the last eight, finishing the stroke-play phase in 16th spot out of the 19 countries.

Ireland won the girls title in 2009 and were runners-up last year. Yesterday England led the qualifiers ahead of Spain and France.

details in factfile

Irish Independent

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