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Leona storms to stunning success

LEONA Maguire showed top-class form when taking apart an international field to win the Irish Girls Open Strokeplay championship at Roganstown yesterday.

Maguire (17) was delighted to become the first Irish player to win this championship.

The winner had eight shots to spare over joint runners-up Manon Molle and Mathilda Cappeliez, both from France.

Maguire finished the 54-hole event on one-under par, with rounds of 72, 69 and 74.

Jean O'Driscoll (Muskerry) had a hole-in-one at the 129-yard par-three 17th, using a nine-iron.

She returned a final-round 72 -- level par -- which included the ace, plus birdies at the par-five fourth and the par-four 15th.

TENNIS

Rafael Nadal won his eighth Monte Carlo Open in a row yesterday, sweeping aside world No 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-1.

The win was Nadal's 42nd consecutive victory in Monaco, but only his first victory over the Serb in eight attempts.

After winning the first set, the Spaniard -- who entered the tournament with a troublesome knee -- raced into a 4-0 advantage in the second.

Off-key Djokovic, whose grandfather passed away last week, broke for the first time to make it 4-1, but Nadal hit straight back before sealing the title in just 78 minutes.

"I definitely don't want to take away anything from Rafa's win," said Djokovic afterwards.

"But it's a fact that I didn't have any emotional energy left in me. I just wasn't there.

"I've never been caught up in this kind of emotional situation before," he added.

"It's been a very difficult week for me to go through mentally. I won three matches since the news.

"I mean, I think I did pretty well."

Irish Independent