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Irish Eye

'I have to thank Pádraig' - Maguire hails Harrington's influence after second LPGA win

The Cavan woman triumphed at the Meijer Classic in Michigan.

LEONA MAGUIRE HAS hailed Pádraig Harrington’s influence and guidance after her Meijer Classic success.

Speaking in the wake of her second career LPGA title win, the Cavan woman revealed that she spent time with Harrington last summer.

Having finished runner-up at the Meijer Classic each of the past two years, those valuable lessons put her in good stead for a successful assault at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Michigan, over the weekend.

Maguire was originally asked about Rory McIlroy amidst his US Open bid, but soon switched the focus to three-time Major champion and long-standing role model Harrington.

“Obviously Rory has been incredibly impressive, everything that he’s done throughout his career,” the 28-year-old said. “Rory has been a big inspiration for a lot of people. The big one for me has been Padraig Harrington.

“I had a few really key up-and-downs this week especially on 17 both Friday and Saturday. Pádraig showed me some shots, so I have to thank him for it. I got to spend some time with him last summer, right before the British Open last year. So I potentially have to pay him another trip this summer. He’s a little busy today at the US Open, but I’ll have to check in with him again and see if we can do it again.

“All the Irish guys are great. I think it’s nice being from that sort of close-knit community. Shane [Lowry] and Pádraig, Paul McGinley, they’re there to give me advice or give Dermot [Byrne, caddie] advice whenever we need it, so it’s nice to have that sort of camaraderie give the people at home more to cheer about.”

Maguire fired an eight-under-par 64 yesterday to finish on 21-under 267 for 72 holes.

She made an eagle and four birdies on her last six holes, completing a bogey-free Sunday and surpassing her goal of 20-under.

The world number 20 was pleased everything clicked on the back nine. Overall, she was happy with her game all week, having stayed away from looking at leaderboards or tracking others’ progress. 

“This one is that little bit sweeter after coming so close two years in-a-row. I know a lot of people this week were saying you’re due one, this course owes you something, all the rest. But I suppose that’s not golf. Golf usually doesn’t work like that. But nice that it all worked out well for me this week.”

Afterwards, Maguire celebrated with Stephanie Meadow — who finished tied for 13th — and shared a phone call with her twin sister, Lisa, and their parents.

“Lisa has been here the last two years. She’s going to be out at Baltusrol next week, so that’ll be nice. Managed to get this one without her, unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll get one some day with her there watching.”  

She later paid tribute to Meadow and Oliva Mehaffey amidst their recent exploits — and name-checked Beth Coulter, Lauren Walsh and Aine Donegan as the rise of Irish women’s golf continues.

“I feel like there’s a lot of good girls coming up through the ranks. I’m just trying to do what I do and hopefully it’ll inspire a younger generation of Irish girls.”

Maguire’s previous LPGA victory came at last year’s Drive On Championship in Florida, and she’ll be hell-bent on more success in 2023. When it was put to her that all Meijer Classic champions have won Majors, she concluded:

“Obviously to get my second win is very nice, and I’ll try and give myself as best a chance as possible in the remaining majors this year. But I didn’t put any pressure on myself this week, so not going to do that for the rest of the season and just enjoy my golf as much as I can.”

Written by The 42 Team and posted on

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