June 20, 2022 By Brandon O Neill
Cavan woman Leona Maguire came agonizingly close to winning her second competition of the season Sunday after being edged out in a sudden-death play-off hole at Blythefield Country Club in Michigan.
Maguire suffered heartache at the hands of Jennifer Kupcho who took the Meijer LPGA Classic after a dramatic three-way playoff.
The Irish woman powered up the final round leaderboard yesterday carding a closing 65 to finish on 18 under — to put her alongside American duo Kupcho and Nelly Korda at the summit.
Korda’s sudden death hopes ended with a par on the first playoff hole — the par-five 18th — with Maguire and Kupcho both recording birdies. Although Kupcho had a three-footer for eagle to win it outright.
On the second playoff hole — again on 18 — Kupcho two-putted from the fringe for birdie and that was enough to seal it as Maguire could only manage par.
Maguire, who finished runner-up at the tournament last season, sat seven shots off overnight leader Nelly Korda at the beginning of play but launched a birdie blitz from the off, gaining strokes at the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th – giving one back on the 3rd – to reach the turn in 33 to get to 14-under.
Three more birdies followed at 10, 13 and 14 as the leading contenders, Korda and Kupcho, labored. Maguire finished off with a closing birdie on 18 to secure a play-off position.
“Not to be in the playoff but gave it my all after being 7 back starting the day,” Maguire tweeted afterward.
Maguire created golfing history in February becoming the first Irish woman to win on the LPGA Tour after she captured the Drive On Championship in Florida.
Not to be in the playoff but gave it my all after being 7 back starting the day @MeijerLPGA is one of my favourite stops all year 🤩 Thanks for all the support 💚, next up @KPMGWomensPGA pic.twitter.com/pSsyEkkbsA
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) June 20, 2022