Sport Golf

Friday 19 October 2018

Maguire twins set to make pro move

Sisters Lisa Maguire (L) and Leona Maguire are expected to turn professional by the end of the month and base themselves in Arizona. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Sisters Lisa Maguire (L) and Leona Maguire are expected to turn professional by the end of the month and base themselves in Arizona. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Leona and Lisa Maguire will turn professional by the end of the month after Duke University bowed out of the NCAA Division One Women's Championship in Oklahoma yesterday.

Duke fell 3.5-1.5 to the University of Southern California (USC) in the quarter-finals at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, bringing four success-laden years in US collegiate golf to a disappointing end for the 23-year-old Co Cavan duo.

Leinster and Ireland stars Rob Kearney and Robbie Henshaw with the Champions Cup at the Trinity College Dublin Annual Sports Awards in Clontarf Castle last night. Photo: Cathal Noonan
Leinster and Ireland stars Rob Kearney and Robbie Henshaw with the Champions Cup at the Trinity College Dublin Annual Sports Awards in Clontarf Castle last night. Photo: Cathal Noonan

World No 2 Leona birdied her final hole to beat USC's Jennifer Chang one up, but a 4 and 2 defeat for Lisa, coupled with losses for team-mates Jaravee Boonchant and Ana Belac saw them end their storied amateur careers without the coveted NCAA title.

It's only a minor footnote given their incredible careers to date with Leona winning 10 times for Duke en route to breaking Lydia Ko's record for the most weeks at the top of the World Amateur rankings with 131. She twice contemplated turning professional during her time in the US but decided to complete her degree, finishing her college career with a string of records, including a scoring average of 70.9 - the lowest in NCAA Division One women's golf history among players who have played at least 100 rounds.

"I've got one sister on the team but I might as well have four," Leona said of her Duke career. "I've always said coming to Duke was the best decision I've ever made and likewise staying here was as well. It's prepared me very, very well for pro golf and for life in general."

The twins are expected to turn professional by the end of the month and base themselves in Arizona. Leona has a card for the second-tier Symetra Tour with a management company announcement, and LPGA Tour invitations, expected to follow soon.

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