Leona Maguire makes solid start to the season-ending Tour Championship

Japanese player Nasa Hataoka shot a flawless 63, with Maguire five shots off the lead

Leona Maguire of Ireland plays her shot from the third tee during the first round of the CME Group Tour Championship. Photograph: Douglas P DeFelice/Getty

Leona Maguire is five shots off the lead after a solid opening-round 68 at the LPGA season-ending CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

On a day of benign conditions, Maguire recovered from an early bogey on the fourth to birdie the fifth and sixth holes, birdieing the eighth to go out in 34 shots.

One particular highlight was her short iron approach on the 13th, which she left to a couple of feet and converted to get to three under for the day. A birdie on the par 5 17th meant that she posted a four-under-par 68, five shots behind the leaders Nasa Hataoka and Ruoning Yin.

Hataoka had a flawless round with nine birdies and no drop shots, she credited her round to “staying aggressive” and held the clubhouse lead before she was matched by Ruoning Yin, who is third in the CME Globe season rankings.


Australia’s Minjee Lee was a shot further back after a 64, while Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist shot a seven-under-par 65 at Tiburon.

Lilia Vu’s win in The Annika last week returned her to number one in the world rankings and moved her within touching distance of Celine Boutier in the CME Globe season rankings. Vu finished two under, while Boutier was three under.

Meanwhile, the LPGA have announced their 2024 schedule of 35 events will include a prize fund of more than $118 million, a 69 per cent increase on 2021.

David Gorman

David Gorman

David Gorman is a sports journalist with The Irish Times