June 21, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Cavan’s Leonna Maguire proved once again that she can compete with the top golfers in the world after finishing a close second at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan Sunday.
Maguire just fell short in winning her first-ever LPGA tournament as she was pipped by World Number 4 Nelly Korda at the Belmont course.
Maguire put in a scintillating bogey-free four rounds. She was the leader after two rounds while Korda assumed pole position going into the final round with a three-shot lead.
A 25-foot eagle putt on the final hole yesterday would have guaranteed Maguire a play-off but it just slid agonizingly by. Maguire ended up three-putting to card a 23-under-par 265 while Korda escaped a greenside bunker to birdie for a 25-under total.
“I’m really starting to feel like I belong out here,” Maguire said.
“Nelly is one of the best players in the world and [I] went toe to toe with her pretty much all of today,” Maguire said afterward.
“I knew it was going to be a battle. I knew I had a lot of golf in front of me and she had a three-shot head start.
The runner-up spot banked the golfer a career-best payday of $214,000 and is a massive confidence boost going into this week’s majors – the Women’s PGA Championship in Georgia.
“This week is going to be huge heading into a Major. I knew I was playing some great golf. It’s a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season.”
“Even though it’s still my rookie year, I’m feeling more and more comfortable every week. My first time in the last group going into the final round, and [I’m] really proud of how I managed that.
“You just never know how you’re going to react until you’re in that situation. Really proud of how I handled it.”
It was Maguire’s fifth LPGA Tour top-10 – her fourth of the year – as she bids to become the first Irish winner on the tour.
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