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Leona Maguire wins a third McCormack medal

Irish star remains the dominant player in women’s amateur golf

Leona Maguire: “To win it once was one thing, but to win it three times is quite a humbling feeling.” Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Ireland’s Leona Maguire has won the Mark H McCormack Medal for the third consecutive year as the leading women’s player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Maguire won the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Pyle & Kenfig this season and finished joint runner-up in the 2017 NCAA Championship individual standings.

The 22-year-old from Co Cavan, who will shortly begin her final year at Duke University, said: “It’s a huge honour for me.

“To win it once was one thing, but to win it three times is quite a humbling feeling. I know there have been some great names before me but to have my name on there three times is something very special and something that I am very proud of.”

Maguire has won seven times in her collegiate career and finished tied 21st in the Olympic Games in Rio last year.

The Slieve Russell golfer also narrowly missed out on the silver medal, for the leading amateur, at the Ladies British Open earlier this month.

Maguire is unquestionably the dominant player in women’s amateur golf; and, in this case, the world amateur rankings don’t lie: Maguire’s first stint as number one, from May 2015 to May 2016 lasted exactly 52 weeks, and her second spell knows no signs of stopping any time soon.

It started in August 2016 and has now stretched to 56 weeks, a total of 108 weeks in her amateur career.

To put this in perspective, only Lydia Ko - a two-time Major champion and a 14-time winner on the LPGA circuit since turning professional - has enjoyed a longer stretch as world amateur number one.

The Kiwi’s spell amounted to a total of 130 weeks. Nobody else came close. Not Minjee Lee. Not Brooke Henderson. Only Maguire, who looks set to remain in the hot seat for the foreseeable future and very likely break Ko’s record.