Friday 20 September 2019

'Patient' Maguire keeping on course for Tour status

On course: Maguire
On course: Maguire

Brian Keogh

Slieve Russell's Leona Maguire chiselled out a two-under 70 and insisted she must remain patient if she's to win her Ladies European Tour (LET) card at the Final Stage of the Lalla Aicha Tour School in Morocco.

While the Co Cavan star struggled to make putts at Palm Golf Ourika in Marrakesh, she's one of five players tied for fifth on six-under-par after two rounds, two strokes off the lead.

"I played really nicely tee to green but didn't hole as many putts as I would have liked," she said after finishing with a birdie at the ninth.

Belgian Leslie Cloots shot 67, England's Sian Evans a 68 and Swede Linnea Strom a six-under 66 at Amelkis Golf Club - the second venue used for the first four rounds - to share the lead on eight-under-par, one clear of Germany's Esther Henseleit.

The top 60 and ties after tomorrow's fourth round qualify for the fifth and final round with the top five (no ties) earning category 5c membership of the LET for 2019 and those ranked from sixth to 25th earning category eight membership.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy can pencil all the game's biggest events into his schedule for 2019 now that the year-ending world's top 50 is set in stone.

Doubtful

While he's doubtful for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch, the world No 8 is the only home player guaranteed a spot in the Masters, the US PGA, the US Open, The Open, the four World Golf Championships and The Players Championship.

Former winners Pádraig Harrington and Darren Clarke will join McIlroy in The Open at Royal Portrush next July while only Seamus Power so far qualifies to join the Holywood star in The Players in March after retaining his PGA Tour card.

Only 2008 champion Harrington and world No 75 Share Lowry are on track to join the Co Down man at Bethpage State Park in New York for the US PGA from May 16-19 while only 2010 champion Graeme McDowell is certain to play the US Open at Pebble Beach from June 13-16.

There will be plenty of opportunities for Lowry, Harrington, Paul Dunne, McDowell, Power and others to add dates to their diaries through the PGA Tour or European Tour money lists or the world rankings.

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport