Leona Maguire to Become First Irish Woman to Play in Solheim Cup

Leona Maguire Team Ireland photo

Aug. 24, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

Leona Maguire’s star continues to rise in the United States following the Cavan woman’s selection to compete in the Solheim Cup next month.

The 26-year-old was handed a wild card pick by European team captain Catriona Matthew Monday and will be the first Irish player to ever compete in the tournament. The Solheim Cup is the women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup where Europe and the United States battle it out every two years.

Maguire was selected because of her sensational form this season coupled with her golfing style and attitude, Matthew said.

“I think she’s got that real grittiness,” the European captain said.

“I think she’s a really good match player, has a great record from the Curtis Cup and played well in the match play (event) in Vegas. I think she’ll be a solid, one of these never-give-up type players.”

This year’s Solheim Cup will take place from Sept. 4 through Sep. 6 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

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Maguire has been in blistering form all season notching nine top-15 finishes. She was just nudged out of first place at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan in June.

“I’m really excited, it is something that I have looked forward to,” Maguire said.

“I have played the PING Junior Solheim Cup in 2009 and 2011, it was an incredible thing to be part of the Junior side so to be on the ‘big’ team is something really special and no Irish person has ever done it before.

“I think it’s going to be great for Irish golf and to show the young girls coming up that it is possible to do things if you set your mind to it.

Meanwhile, three-time major winner Padraig Harrington has been singing Maguire’s praise, describing the news as a “tremendous achievement.”

“Her selection is a big deal for women’s golf in Ireland,” Harrington told the Irish Independent.

“We’ve had such a great history of Irish male players being picked for the Ryder Cup, and now with Leona being selected, it’s going to be great for young Irish girls playing golf to strive to follow in her footsteps.

Harrington will captain the European Ryder Cup team at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin next month. 

“I know myself and growing up, I watched all the Ryder Cup players and that was an inspiration for me and something that I could go on and do, so now with Leona being selected, she’ll be an inspiration to so many young Irish girls knowing they can do what Leona has achieved.”

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