Tuesday 24 April 2018

Maguire fights back to retain French crown

Chris Smart

Teenage star Leona Maguire once again demonstrated her immense talent yesterday in storming to a second successive French Ladies U-21 title at St Cloud, Paris.

The 15-year-old international from Slieve Russell became the first player in recent times to record back-to-back successes in this hotly contested championship.

She came from behind like a true champion to retain her title with a 3&2 victory in the 36-hole final over Norwegian Tonje Daffinrud.

Maguire, hotly tipped to make her Curtis Cup debut in Boston in June, was stunned early on by Daffinrud, who was four under par and three up after six holes.

But the teenager battled back in style to square matters at the half-way stage and took the lead for the first time when she rolled in a 15-foot putt for a birdie at the 20th.

The Norwegian soon levelled, only for Maguire to regain the lead at the 25th. She went two up at the 27th and then after a succession of halves, she wrapped up another triumph with a 10-foot putt for a birdie three at the 34th.

The Cavan girl was naturally delighted with her overall performance.

"I was solid throughout,led the qualifiers and went from strength to strength," said Maguire.

She flew home with sister Lisa last night and later this month the pair head to Troon for the Helen Holm Scottish Open stroke-play championship.

They intend to play in all the major amateur events around Europe this summer.

Irish Independent

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