Leona Maguire falls out of the lead in Dubai after day two 75

Cavan player failed to find a single birdie on second day after scintillating first round

Leona Maguire of Ireland takes a shot from the 15th fairway during Day Two of the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic at Emirates Golf Club. Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Leona Maguire of Ireland takes a shot from the 15th fairway during Day Two of the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic at Emirates Golf Club. Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

 

Frontrunner? Pursuer? There are different ways to win a tournament, and if Leona Maguire is to claim a breakthrough Ladies European Tour victory, then the 24-year-old Cavan player will have to make up a four strokes deficit and chase down joint-leaders Spain’s Nuria Iturrios and Germany’s Esther Henseleit heading into the final round of the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic.

After shooting the lights out in a course record-breaking 64 in the first round, Maguire slipped to a 75 – failing to find a single birdie in a round played in glaring sunshine – for a two round total of 139, five-under-par, which left her trailing Henseleit, who only turned professional in January, and the in-form Iturrios, who moved to the top of the LET order of merit with her win in Morocco last Sunday.

Henseleit shot a second round 66 for nine-under-par 135 after 36 holes; Iturrios signed for a 68 to also lie on 135, with Maguire dropping to tied-fifth but still in touching distance of the frontrunners with one round to play.

While Iturrios, with her eyes on a Solheim Cup spot later this season, maintained that momentum, Maguire struggled to follow up on her sizzling opening round and ultimately took 11 strokes more: having started on the 10th, Maguire suffered a dropped hot on the Par 3 17th and then ran up a double-bogey six on the Par 4 seventhhole before finishing with two pars.

Maguire, seeking to juggle playing on both the LET, where she won a full card at qualifying school, and also the Symetra Tour in the United States, where she is currently second on the money list after winning the Windsor Classic last month, struggled to reproduce her opening round birdie blitz but remains well positioned for a final round charge.

Of the double-bogey on the seventh, Maguire said: “I wanted to hit 7-wood; my caddie wanted me to hit an iron and I hit an iron into the water, which was quite annoying to finish with. I didn’t give myself enough chances and didn’t hole any putts. I need to play a lot better (on Friday) and hit my irons better to give myself some more chances.”

Twin sister Lisa signed for a second round 76 for a 36-holes total of 151, seven-over, which had her in tied-49th.

Henseleit, a 20-year-old from Hamburg, turned professional with a handicap of plus-7.1 after finishing third at last year’s LET Tour School. The German looked set to hold the outright lead but suffered a double-bogey five on the Par 3 17th after finding a greenside bunker and three-putting.

For Iturrios, it was a case of bringing her from Morocco to Dubai. “I’m feeling good, it would be awesome to win back-to-back (on tour),” she said.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.