Leona Maguire deserves a breather from her hectic schedule, which she'll get this week at her US base in Lake Nona when she will get to recharge the batteries and start afresh on the LPGA Tour stop in Sylvania, Ohio, next week.
"I need a break," admitted Maguire, after a three week stint on the road which took her from California to Ohio to Georgia and that seen her finish tied-9th, second and tied-15th in consolidating her position in the order of merit (currently 14th).
The 26-year-old Co Cavan golfer continued her strong run of form with a tied-15th finish in the KPMG Women's PGA (her career best finish in a Major), which was her sixth top-20 finish so far of the season. Maguire also hit a significant milestone in hard cash, as she broke through the half-million dollar barrier in prizemoney for the season ($539,107).
"I played some really solid golf. I was very disciplined, went at pins that I could go at and played smart at other holes. I only put one ball in the water, which I felt was pretty good," said Maguire of the challenge presented by Atlanta Athletic Club where Nelly Korda won in back-to-back weeks to claim a maiden Major and also move to world number one.
Maguire gets the week off to reboot at Lake Nona in Florida before embarking on her global travels that will see her play the Marathon Classic and the Dow Invitational and then travel back to Europe for the Evian (the season's fourth Major) in France, home for a few days to Cavan and then onwards to the Olympics in Tokyo and then the Scottish and British Opens in successive weeks.
Last chance saloon for Open hopefuls
The chance to compete for, never mind win, the Claret Jug is one that is a huge ambition for elite players and Final Qualifying for The 149th Open Championship offers just such an opportunity for the 288 players who have made it to the penultimate stage.
A minimum 12 places into next month's championship at Royal St Georges (where 2019 Champion Golfer of the Year Shane Lowry finally gets the chance to defend his title) when the Final Qualifying takes place over four links courses in England on Tuesday.
There are nine Irish players competing for the prized tickets, including Irish Close champion Hugh Foley of Royal Dublin at West Lancashire. Indeed, the largest Irish contingent will seek to emerge from that venue with Foley joined by Robert Galligan, Richard Knightly and Ronan Mullarney.
Luke Donnelly is the lone Irish player competing at St Annes Old Links and Noel Quinn is the sole Irishman at Princes, while Brendan McCarroll and Tim Rice are in the field at Hollinwell.
By the Numbers - 3,000,000
The prize fund for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet, starting on Thursday, is €3 million, with the champion's share set to be €460,000.
Word of Mouth
“I learned that I belong . . . it’s just keep my head up, keep my chin up and take what I learned and keep battling and go next week and see what happens” - Kramer Hickok taking the positives after coming out on the wrong end of what extended to an eight holes sudden-death shootout with Harris English in the Travelers.
On this day: June 29th, 1997
Like so many Springboks, Retief Goosen cut his teeth on the South African Sunshine Tour before reaching out to the European Tour and ultimately on to the PGA Tour as a global player.
His first of two wins in the Peugeot French Open was achieved in some style, as he led from start to finish at the National golf course outside Paris. It gave Goosen a second European Tour title, having made his breakthrough on the circuit in the previous season's Slaley Hall International Challenge.
Despite heavy rain, Goosen compiled rounds of 64-67-70-70 for a total of 17-under-par 271 which left him three shots clear of Jamie Spence while Darren Clarke was among those in a four-way tie for third.
Very enjoyable week in Germany for the #BMWInternationalOpen…lots learned and great buzz over the weekend in the final groups. Thanks for all the support & well wishes..Onwards now to the #DDFIrishOpen #lovegolf - Niall Kearney seeking to maintain the momentum on home turf of a solid performance in Germany.
After a trip from hell I finally made it to @mountjuliet for @DDFIrishOpen Looking forward to no more long haul travel and summer in Britain and Ireland - Oliver Wilson on finally reaching the golfing haven in Thomastown.
We rolled into Dublin last night, after a few technical issues got the rental car sorted and then got ourselves to Mount Juliet. Can't wait for the week ahead of Irish bacon and eggs and a few Guinness/Kilkenny pints….Ohhh and the golf of course #aussieboy - Scott Hend all set for a good week on and off the course.
In the Bag
Viktor Hovland - BMW International Open
Driver - Ping G425 (9 degrees)
3-wood - TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees)
Hybrid - Ping G425 (3)
Irons - Ping iBlade (4-6), Ping i59 prototype (7-PW)
Wedges - Ping Glide Forged Pro prototype (50 and 56 degrees), Titleist Vokey design Wedgeworks (60 degrees)
Putter - Ping PLD prototype DS 72
Ball - Titleist ProV1
Know the Rules
Q Player A’s drive is pulled into the left rough and is difficult to locate. After a two-minute search, the player finds his ball and leaves the area to get a club. On his return, he cannot again find his ball. Is he entitled to a new three-minute search time?
A No. Such a situation is covered under Rule 18.2a(1)/1 - Time permitted for search when search temporarily interrupted. On returning to look for his ball a second time, Player A has one minute to search before the ball becomes lost. The three-minute search time stopped when the ball was first found.