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Leona surges into early lead in Helen Holm

Leona Maguire continued her excellent early-season form to surge two shots clear of the field in the Helen Holm Scottish Women's Stroke Play Championship at the Troon Portland links in Ayrshire with a six-under-par 69.

Maguire, bidding to repeat her 2009 win, bogeyed only the par-five 18th hole in halves of 34 (four-under-par) and 35 (two-under).

"I had a bad lie in a greenside bunker at the 18th and could not get up and down to save par," she said. "I don't know why but I generally start the season well and that 69 equals my best ever score over the Troon Portland course."

Leona's 16-year-old twin sister -- Spanish champion Lisa -- had to be content with a two-under-par 73, despite also finishing with just one bogey. Defending champion Danielle McVeigh (Royal Co Down Ladies) and Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) shot opening 74s.

Leona Maguire's closest rivals -- two shots back on 71 -- are Scots Alyson McKechin and Louise Kenney plus Cork's Gillian O'Leary, who recorded an eagle at the par-five second hole.

Also well to the fore for Ireland is Emma O'Driscoll, the 2009 Irish girls champion from Ballybunion. She had a two-under 73.

l GRAEME Mcdowell shot a two-under par round of 69 to lie within touching distance of the lead at The Heritage. The Portrush man turned in level par but two birdies on the back nine places him in 15th, five shots behind Ryder Cup team-mate and would-be world number one Luke Donald whose impressive 65 gave him a one shot lead over first round leader Garrett Willis

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Malaysia's Shaaban Hussin and Korean Park Hyun-bin took the clubhouse lead with rounds of 67 and 68 for nine-under-par totals of 135.

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