Leona Maguire comfortably inside cut mark after 31-hole day

Irish golfer cards rounds of 71 and 72 at Andalucia Open de Espana in Marbella

 Ireland’s Leona Maguire in action during   the Andalucia Open de Espana at La Quinta Golf & Country Club in Marbella. Photograph: EPA/ALF

Ireland’s Leona Maguire in action during the Andalucia Open de Espana at La Quinta Golf & Country Club in Marbella. Photograph: EPA/ALF

 

Ireland’s Leona Maguire finished safely inside the cut mark after playing a gruelling 31 holes in the rain-affected Andalucia Open de Espana in Marbella on Friday.

Making her European Tour debut, Maguire only played five holes before play was abandoned due to flooding at La Quinta on Thursday and she returned to finish off a level-par opening round of 71.

Two dropped shots on her back nine saw card a one-over 72 in her second round for a share of 23rd spot on one over.

Defending champion Azahara Munoz carded back-to-back rounds of 68 to claim a slender one-shot lead as she seeks a third successive victory on home soil.

Munoz recorded four birdies and three bogeys to finish six under par, a shot ahead of Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew and Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall.

Munoz and Hall also got to play just five holes on Thursday, but the duo showed no ill effects from their exertions on Friday before play was halted due to darkness.

“It was a long day and I played 31 holes, but I’m very happy and I played really well,” Munoz said.

“I’m thankful that it only gets light at 8am in Spain, because we have much earlier starting times in America and in the UK.”

Hall, who completed rounds of 67 and 70, added: “You have so many drops due to the water on the fairways, so it’s pretty tough. You’ve got to stay patient out there.”

Matthew played 28 holes on Friday as rounds of 70 and 67 moved her into contention for her first Ladies European Tour title since the 2013 Scottish Open.

“I hit the ball really well this afternoon and gave myself a lot of chances,” the 49-year-old said.

“You always come off feeling that you could have holed a few more but I’m happy with four under this afternoon.”

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