Leona Maguire takes top amateur prize at Women’s British Open

Cavan golfer falls down leaderboard with closing 75 but takes home the prestigious Smyth Salver

 Ireland’s  Leona Maguire in action during the final round of the  Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn Golf Club. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Ireland’s Leona Maguire in action during the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn Golf Club. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

 

Leona Maguire added to her large collection of silverware on Sunday when she was the top amateur at the Ricoh Women’s British Championship at Woburn in Bedfordshire.

The 21-year-old from Cavan had every reason to be extremely proud of her performance in the Major despite slipping in her final round, a three-over-par 75 the only time in the week she ended over par.

But her four round aggregate of 284 – four under par – left her six strokes ahead of the next best amateur, Curtis Cup colleague Bronte Law, to pick up the coveted Smyth Salver – and in joint 25th overall she left a whole host of world stars trailing in her wake.

“I had a great week. It was fantastic playing with so many top pros and I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed every minute of it,”said Maguire who now heads to the Olympics in Rio and then back to North Carolina for her last year at Duke University.

The championship was won by Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugam with a score of 272 – 16 under par – three clear of American Mo Martin and Korean Mirim Lee. Leading Briton was Scotland’s Catriona Matthew on 279 – nine under par in joint fifth.

After comfortably making the halfway cut, Maguire produced her best golf of the tournament on Saturday, carding a brilliant four-under-par 68 to move to seven under overall and into the top 10.

She was out in 34 with birdies at one and eight and there were three more birdies on the homeward stretch – at 10, 14 and 16 – and she slipped on only one hole, dropping a stroke at the 13th.

Maguire started well enough on Sunday, making par on the the first four holes and then picking up a birdie three on the fifth. But after that things went downhill and she immediately dropped a stroke at the short sixth.

Out in 36 she struggled on the back nine recording a bogey five on the 13th, making a mess of the 484-yard 15th and dropping a stroke and, for the first time in the tournament, she narrowly failed to par the last.

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