Leona Maguire finishes strong to claim top-10 finish in Florida

Cavan golfer recorded her best finish on US soil since turning professional

Leona Maguire of Ireland putts on the 11th green during the third round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala Golf Club. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Leona Maguire of Ireland putts on the 11th green during the third round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala Golf Club. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

 

You don’t spend 135 weeks (a record!) as the world’s number one ranked amateur golfer without good reason, and Leona Maguire’s seamless progression into the professional ranks has seen an upward trending with her latest result – a tied-sixth finish in the LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala in Florida – reaffirming the 26-year-old year Co Cavan golfer’s potential in this, an Olympic and Solheim Cup year.

Maguire, into her second season on the LPGA Tour, overcame a bogey-bogey start to her final round of the €1.25 million Drive On tournament to finish birdie-birdie to sign for a 70 which left her on five-under-par 283 for her best career finish on US soil (she finished tied-fourth in last year’s ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia, which was sanctioned by the LPGA).

That tough start may have put Maguire on the back foot but her response was superb, the highlight being a run of three successive birdies from the fifth to the seventh although a bogey on the ninth meant she turned in level par 36. A birdie on the 12th was followed by a bogey on the 14th but Maguire – who is assured of a place to represent Ireland in the Olympics in Japan in August – showed her pedigree with a strong finish, birdieing both the 17th and 18th holes to ensure a tied-sixth finish and a $75,000 payday.

Maguire’s fine performance also saw her move from 28th in the LPGA season’s order of merit up to 13th.

Stephanie Meadow rebounded from a missed cut in the Gainbridge Championship and finished with a final round 71 for a total of one over par 289, in tied-34th position.

Austin Ernst, the 29-year-old American, claimed her third LPGA Tour win - adding to her 2014 Portland Classic and 2020 Walmart Arkansas Championship – with a dominant final round display, firing a finishing 70 for a total of 273, five shots clear of runner-up Jennifer Kupcho.

Collated final round scores & totals in the LPGA Drive On Championship presented by Volvik at Golden Ocala, Ocala, Florida (USA unless stated, Par 72):

273 Austin Ernst 67 67 69 70

278 Jennifer Kupcho 67 67 70 74

280 Jennifer Coleman 70 69 70 71

281 In-Gee Chun (Kor) 70 73 69 69

282 Albane Valenzuela (Swi) 70 73 66 73

283 Danielle Kang 72 70 69 72, Leona Maguire (Irl) 69 71 73 70

284 Charley Hull (Eng) 74 70 70 70, Jessica Korda 69 75 69 71, Megan Khang 69 72 73 70, Lydia Ko (Nzl) 69 72 72 71, Jaye Marie Green 68 72 74 70, Jennifer Chang 73 71 69 71

285 Sei-Young Kim (Kor) 72 70 73 70, Gaby Lopez (Mex) 69 72 74 70, Perrine Delacour (Fra) 71 74 70 70, Paphangkorn Tavatanakit (Tha) 70 70 69 76, Jennifer Song 70 72 73 70

286 Alexis Thompson 74 69 74 69, Carlota Ciganda (Spa) 71 65 75 75, Yu Liu (Chn) 70 70 77 69, Caroline Masson (Ger) 70 75 70 71

287 Brittany Altomare 70 73 69 75, Cheyenne Knight 71 70 72 74, Xiyu Lin (Chn) 72 70 75 70, Hee-Young Park (Kor) 73 72 68 74, Aditi Ashok (Ind) 72 73 70 72

288 Nelly Korda 67 70 76 75, Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den) 73 71 71 73, Jing Yan (Chn) 68 74 74 72, Kristen Gillman 75 70 71 72, Melissa Reid (Eng) 70 74 70 74, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor) 73 72 70 73

289 Sung-Hyun Park (Kor) 73 73 71 72, Angel Yin 71 74 71 73, Ally Ewing 71 73 72 73, Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa) 70 70 72 77, Anna Nordqvist (Swe) 74 70 75 70, Ryann O’Toole 71 71 74 73, Sarah Kemp (Aus) 72 72 74 71, Lindy Duncan 69 73 73 74, Stephanie Meadow (NIrl) 71 75 71 72, Elizabeth Szokol 72 73 70 74

290 Brooke Henderson (Can) 74 69 74 73, Georgia Hall (Eng) 74 72 72 72, Mariah Stackhouse 69 74 74 73, Yealimi Noh 74 72 76 68

291 Nicole Broch Larsen (Den) 72 74 70 75, Katherine Kirk (Aus) 69 72 73 77, Cristie Kerr 74 69 73 75, Sophia Popov (Ger) 74 70 71 76

292 Jenny Shin (Kor) 74 72 73 73, Stacy Lewis 71 73 75 73, Tiffany Joh 73 71 75 73, Lindsey Weaver 72 74 73 73, Dana Finkelstein 75 70 75 72

293Annie Park 71 72 76 74, Cydney Clanton 74 72 74 73

294 Jeon-Geun Lee (Kor) 69 77 68 80, Mi-Jung Hur (Kor) 69 72 80 73, Sarah Schmelzel 71 74 74 75

295 Bronte Law (Eng) 70 73 73 79, Daniela Darquea (Ecu) 72 74 74 75, Jaclyn Lee (Can) 74 71 72 78

296 Wichanee Meechai (Tha) 73 73 74 76

298 Daniela Holmqvist (Swe) 70 76 75 77, Haley Moore 75 71 73 79

299 Eun-Hee Ji (Kor) 75 70 76 78, Jane Park 70 76 72 81

300 Laura Davies (Eng) 75 69 76 80, Mina Harigae 74 71 77 78

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.