Wednesday 19 June 2019

Maguire holds nerve to claim Tour card

Ireland's Leona Maguire. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ireland's Leona Maguire. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Brian Keogh

Leona Maguire put herself in frame to challenge for a dream Solheim Cup debut in 2019 after she made a 15-footer in sudden-death to dramatically clinch her Ladies European Tour card in Morocco.

The Slieve Russell rookie (24) started the final day one stroke outside the top five who would be awarded premium LET cards at Amelkis Golf Club in Marrakesh.

And after suffering the agony of missing out my just one shot at Stage Two of the LPGA Q-School in October, she showed her class by blasting a bogey-free, five-under 67 to tie for fifth with Sweden’s Sarah  Nilsson on 13-under par.

That meant a play-off for the last card and she made no mistake at the 356-yard 10th, hitting a nine-iron to 15 feet before rolling in the putt to give herself more options outside her Symetra Tour status and the promise of LPGA Tour invitations next year.

"I'm delighted," said the Cavan prodigy, who was relieved to see Nilsson lip out before she made her own putt. "I knew going into the play-off that that one spot would make a huge difference for next year. I'm just delighted that I could birdie it.

"I felt like I have been playing well now for a while and it all really clicked and came together nicely these last two weeks when I really needed it the most," she added.

"People were going low and I knew I had to keep with them and keep making birdies so it was nice to post a bogey-free right when I need it. The Symetra Tour doesn't start until March so I will see what way I am going to go and whether I will hop back and forth."

England's Bronte Law took the top card on 26-under, one ahead of Sweden's Linnea Strom.

Irish Independent

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