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Leona Maguire Alamy Stock Photo

Leona Maguire leads way into LPGA Match Play quarter-finals

In chilly, windswept conditions at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, the Cavan native produced a birdie-birdie finish.

IRELAND’S LEONA Maguire overcame blustery conditions to fire a three-under-par 69 on Friday and advance to this weekend’s LPGA Match Play quarter-finals as the top seed.

In chilly, windswept conditions at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, Maguire produced a birdie-birdie finish to ease into the last eight after 54 holes.

This year’s event was revamped as a hybrid tournament combining three rounds of stroke play before the top eight on the leaderboard face off in a straight knockout match play competition.

Maguire’s 69 left her with a six-under aggregate of 210, three clear of Japan’s Minami Katsu, who shot a level-par 72 to finish tied for second on three-under alongside Angel Yin and Rose Zhang of the United States.

“Going out we knew it was going to be tough, and was going to test all aspects of the game,” Maguire said of the strong winds that buffeted the course early in the day.

“As much of a mental challenge as anything out there. It’s a major championship golf course, and when there’s a 39-mph wind blowing and it’s swirling, you have to be even more committed.”

South Korea’s Kim Sei-Young crept into the quarter-finals with a two-over 74, struggling into the weekend after a third round that included five bogeys.

World number one Nelly Korda will also feature in the match play after carding a three-under-par 69 to finish on one-under through 54 holes.

Korda said she had enjoyed the challenge of the demanding weather.

“It got really cold towards the end, but there is something fun about golf when you get to play in these conditions,” Korda said.

“The creativity of golf comes out and I really enjoy it.”

The drama of the third round came in the battle for the eighth quarter-final spot, where Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn, South Korea’s Ryu Hae-Ran, Canada’s Brooke Henderson and Japan’s Yuka Saso slugged it out in a four-way sudden death playoff.

After Ryu was eliminated at the first playoff hole following a bogey five, it was Moriya who broke the deadlock on the third playoff hole, rolling in a magnificent birdie putt from 20 feet to set up a last-eight showdown with Maguire on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Meadow, after an encouraging start, finished Friday tied for 25th on six over par.

You can view the leaderboard in full here.

– © AFP 2024

Written by AFP and posted on

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