Leona Maguire two shots off the lead at qualifying school

Cavan golfer in a share of fifth position after carding a 70 in the second round in Morocco

 Leona Maguire is in a tie for fifth position after the second round of the  Ladies’ European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco. Photograph: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Leona Maguire is in a tie for fifth position after the second round of the Ladies’ European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco. Photograph: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

 

If there is an old cliché about taking it one step at a time, Leona Maguire has made sure each stride has been solid and surefooted so far.

And the 24-year-old Co Cavan professional – who added a second round 70 Monday to her opening 68 in the five-round marathon that is the Ladies’ European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco – remains very much on course to achieve her ambition of claiming a full tour card for next season.

Maguire had three birdies and a lone bogey in her second round 70 to finish up just two strokes off the lead held by the trio of Sweden’s Linnea Strom, who has earned a full LPGA Tour card for 2019 through her endeavours off the Symetra Tour this past season, Belgium’s Leslie Cloots and England’s Sian Evans.

Having safely negotiated last week’s pre-qualifying tournament, Maguire has maintained that momentum into the main event on the same two courses in Marrakech, where a total of 115 players are battling it out over five rounds for the cherished LET cards.

The 90-hole tournament will see the leading five players earn Category 5c membership of the LET, which would earn entry into the vast majority of events on the Ladies’ European Tour schedule. Those players finishing in positions six to 25 will earn Category 8 membership for next season, which would get entry into a sizeable number of tournaments.

Maguire already has a tour card for the Symetra Tour in the United States – the circuit which is a pathway onto the LPGA Tour – but has also made it a target to get full LET membership. That would enable her to have a more expansive playing schedule and would also enable her to accumulate points towards possible selection on Europe’s Solheim Cup team for the match at Gleneagles next September.

The former world amateur number one has kept the target a top-five finish in the Q-School Finals very much within her reach. Maguire shares fifth place through two rounds with Manon Gidali and Emma Grechi of France and English pair Lauren Horsford and Dulcie Sverdloff.

Astha Madan of India, who held the opening round lead, dropped back to tied-10th after following up her first round 65 with a 74 to slip back.

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