Mixed fortunes for Meadow and Maguire on LPGA seasonal bow
Meadow is bogey-free in Florida but Maguire marks Tour debut with a disappointing 79
Stephanie Meadow opened her season with a 71 in Florida. Photograph: Vaughan Ridley/Getty
The contrast couldn’t have been more different for Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire as the two Irishwomen set out on their seasonal debuts on the LPGA Tour at Boca Rio Golf Club in Florida: where Meadow was the epitome in carding a bogey-free opening round of one-under 71 in the Gainbridge Championship, Maguire’s first start as a full member was a rockier affair as she carded a disappointing 79.
Meadow, who celebrated her 28th birthday last Monday, spent the winter break on a fitness regime - including spinning among her activities - and she hit the ground running with an error-free round that saw her record 17 pars and a lone birdie, on the second (her 11th hole) for a 71 that left her three shots adrift of clubhouse leaders, Japan’s Yui Kawamoto and Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit.
While Meadow got onto the fringes of contention, it was an entirely different start to the season for Maguire who got off to a poor start with a bogey on her opening hole, the 10th, and then found herself on the back foot with a double-bogey six on the 11th.
In all, Maguire - who gained her full LPGA Tour card via the Symetra Tour last season, when she was a two-time winner - suffered two double-bogeys and four bogeys and her only respite came on the Par 5 first hole, her 10th, where she claimed her sole birdie.
Maguire has a mountain to climb if she is to somehow survive the 36-hole cut, with the top 70 players and ties progressing to the weekend, but the Co Cavan golfer’s onward itinerary will see her travel on to Australia for back-to-back tournaments.
Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, the world number 16 and a key member of Europe’s winning Solheim Cup team of last year, continued her run of good form with an opening round 69 to lie just a shot off the early clubhouse leaders.
American Morgan Pressel, who is a member of the club, had warned players in advance, “it is probably one of the most difficult courses in the area, (the greens) are super slick.” That warning proved prescient, as many players - among them European Solheim Cup player Charley Hull, who had an opening round 75 - struggled to cope with a stiff breeze and the firm greens.
Latest first round scores in the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, Boca Rio Golf Club, United States of America (USA unless stated, par 72):
1st Round suspended due to inclement weather
66 Jessica Korda (USA)
68 Patty Tavatanakit (Tha), Yui Kawamoto (Jpn), Sei Young Kim (Kor)
69 Xi Yu Lin (Chn), Lindsey Weaver (USA), Carlota Ciganda (Spa), Yu Liu (Chn)
70 Jane Park (USA), Chella Choi (Kor), Sakura Yokomine (Jpn), Georgia Hall (Eng), Angela Stanford (USA), Robynn Ree (USA), Jillian Hollis (USA)
71 Stephanie Meadow (NIrl), Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha), Nelly Korda (USA), Celine Boutier (Fra), Melissa Reid (Eng), In Gee Chun (Kor), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (Eng), Austin Ernst (USA), Pornanong Phatlum (Tha), Stacy Lewis (USA), Linnea Strom (Swe)
72 Madelene Sagstrom (Swe), Ryann O’Toole (USA), Cristie Kerr (USA), Nasa Hataoka (Jpn), Megan Khang (USA), Brooke M. Henderson (Can), Cydney Clanton (USA), Jennifer Song (USA), Moriya Jutanugarn (Tha), Danielle Kang (USA), Klara Spilkova (Cze)
73 Mariajo Uribe (Col), Mirim Lee (Kor), Jeong Eun Lee (Kor), Mi Hyang Lee (Kor), Eun-Hee Ji (Kor), Lexi Thompson (USA), Anne Van Dam (Ned), Pernilla Lindberg (Swe), Bronte Law (Eng), Jaye Marie Green (USA), Daniela Darquea (Ecu)
74 Jasmine Suwannapura (Tha), Caroline Masson (Ger), Jennifer Coleman (USA), Inbee Park (Kor), Julieta Granada (Pry), Ally McDonald (USA), Kristen Gillman (USA), Maria Torres (Pue), Pajaree Anannarukarn (Tha), Mariah Stackhouse (USA), Tiffany Chan (Hkg), Jing Yan (Chn)
75 Emma Talley (USA), Marina Alex (USA), Morgan Pressel (USA), Angel Yin (USA), Brittany Lincicome (USA), Kendall Dye (USA), Charley Hull (Eng), Amy Olson (USA), Perrine Delacour (Fra), Mind Muangkhumsakul (Tha), Gerina Piller (USA), Anna Nordqvist (Swe), Alena Sharp (Can)
76 Sarah-Jane Smith (Aus), Brittany Altomare (USA), Ayako Uehara (Jpn), Wei-Ling Hsu (Tai), (a) Jennifer Chang (USA), Cheyenne Knight (USA), Alison Lee (USA), Sarah Kemp (Aus), Mi Jung Hur (Kor)
77 Esther Lee (Kor), Na Yeon Choi (Kor), Jennifer Kupcho (USA), Azahara Munoz (Spa)
78 Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den), Gaby Lopez (Mex), Giulia Molinaro (Ita), Sarah Schmelzel (USA), Pavarisa Yoktuan (Tha), Annie Park (USA)
79 Beatriz Recari (Spa), Leona Maguire (Irl)
82 Tiffany Joh (USA), Maria Fassi (Mex)