Leona Maguire picks up valuable life lessons in another top-10 finish

Irish golfer suffered a bizarre penalty infraction during her third round in California

 Leona Maguire during the final round of the LPGA Mediheal Championship in Daly City, California. Photograph: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Leona Maguire during the final round of the LPGA Mediheal Championship in Daly City, California. Photograph: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

 

Leona Maguire packed quite a few life lessons into her performance at the LPGA Mediheal Championship in California: from the brilliant – leading after the first round; to the bizarre – suffering a penalty after her ball lodged in a pine tree (it dropped to the ground after the three-minute search time had just elapsed.)

When all was said and done, Maguire’s lot was another top-10 finish (her third of the year) behind Finland’s Matilda Castren and a payday of $29,513 which improved her prize money take for the season so far to $266,801.

The 26-year-old Cavan golfer will aim to bring that momentum into this week’s Meijer Classic for Simply Give tournament at Grand Rapids, Michigan, and on to next week’s KPMG LPGA Championship at John’s Creek in Georgia, the season’s third Major for the women.

“You have to put yourself in those positions to know how you’re going to react and then know what you did right and figure out what you would do differently next time . . . I’m just trying to learn all I can from these past two, three days. Work that into hopefully when I’m in that position again,” said Maguire continuing to learn lessons in what is still technically her rookie season, one in which she has moved into the world’s top-100 and currently sits at 20th on the LPGA Tour order of merit.

Maguire had new caddie Dermot Byrne – who had a long stint on Shane Lowry’s bag – for the Mediheal event. “I think we were fortunate that we clicked pretty early on, which was good,” said the player who plans to work on her iron control in the coming days.

And of the bizarre incident in Saturday’s third round, when her approach shot to the first green lodged in a tree branch, Maguire – who was required to add a penalty stroke and retrace her steps to play again – recalled: “We were looking up, trying to see if we could identify something and then a ball dropped and I honestly thought it was from the range because it was quite a thud when it landed. And then there was the whole kerfuffle like, ‘can we play it, can we not, whatever?’ In hindsight, I probably wish I would’ve called for a second referee. It is one of those rookie mistakes. You live and learn.”

Castren fired a final-round 65 to overtake Min Lee to earn her first career LPGA victory, finishing at 14 under.

The 26-year-old tied for her lowest round on tour in her sixth career event. The Finland national team member became the first from her country to win an LPGA event with her 274 total for the four days (71-69-69-65).

“I knew one day it would be me,” said Castren, fighting back emotion after the triumph, “but you didn’t think it was going to be so soon.”

Collated final scores and totals (USA unless stated, Par 72)

274 Matilda Castren (Fin) 71 69 69 65

276 Min Lee (Tai) 70 69 68 69

280 Hannah Green (Aus) 72 71 71 66, Som-Yeon Ryu (Kor) 73 73 67 67

281 Danielle Kang 71 66 74 70, Celine Boutier (Fra) 72 75 70 64, Jenny Shin (Kor) 72 69 70 70, Jennifer Coleman 71 69 71 70

282 Angel Yin 72 69 72 69, Lydia Ko (Nzl) 72 70 70 70, Jodi Ewart (Eng) 74 70 73 65, Leona Maguire (Irl) 65 73 74 70

283 Lucy Lie 71 71 70 71, Yu Liu (Chn) 72 69 74 68, Jennifer Kupcho 69 72 70 72, Annie Park 72 70 72 69, Cydney Clanton 75 71 68 69, Jane Park 69 71 73 70, A-Lim Kim (Kor) 72 69 69 73, Yealimi Noh 72 69 71 71

284 Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha) 66 76 72 70, Ryann O’Toole 73 71 70 70, Paphangkorn Tavatanakit (Tha) 70 71 71 72, Lindsey Weaver 73 69 69 73, Lauren Kim 69 69 71 75

285 Xiyu Lin (Chn) 73 73 72 67, Esther Henseleit (Ger) 77 70 72 66, Alison Lee 68 72 74 71

286 Shanshan Feng (Chn) 73 70 72 71, Inbee Park (Kor) 69 75 70 72, Nicole Broch Larsen (Den) 72 71 74 69, Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa) 71 71 70 74, Sarah Schmelzel 74 69 73 70

287 Sei-Young Kim (Kor) 73 74 69 71, Alexis Thompson 71 72 70 74, Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den) 74 69 72 72, Wichanee Meechai (Tha) 72 76 73 66, Jeong-Eun Lee (Kor) 71 73 73 70, Mina Harigae 73 71 69 74

288 Min-Jee Lee (Aus) 73 69 76 70, Charley Hull (Eng) 73 68 73 74, Wei Ling Hsu (Tai) 74 69 74 71, Michelle Wie 73 75 69 71, Hee-Young Park (Kor) 76 71 71 70, Giulia Molinaro (Ita) 76 72 73 67

289 Azahara Munoz (Esp) 75 73 71 70, Katherine Kirk (Aus) 75 72 73 69, Lindy Duncan 72 70 75 72, Kelly Tan (Mal) 75 73 73 68, Janie Jackson 76 71 73 69, Emma Talley 71 75 70 73

290 Brittany Lincicome 76 72 71 71, Georgia Hall (Eng) 77 70 70 73, Alena Sharp (Can) 75 69 74 72, Albane Valenzuela (Swi) 68 74 68 80, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor) 73 71 74 72

291 Hyo-Joo Kim (Kor) 71 74 72 74, Su-Hyun Oh (Aus) 71 70 74 76, Lauren Stephenson 70 71 76 74, Jennifer Song 74 73 74 70, Dana Finkelstein 72 72 74 73, Min-Seo Kwak (Kor) 71 71 71 78, Linnea Johansson (Swe) 73 72 74 72

292 Sarah Jane Smith (Aus) 73 73 72 74, Harukyo Nomura (Jpn) 78 68 73 73, Bianca Pagdanganan (Phi) 71 73 77 71

293 Gemma Dryburgh (Sco) 73 74 77 69

295 Da-Yeon Lee (Kor) 69 72 73 81, Ayako Uehara (Jpn) 75 73 69 78

296 Klara Spilkova (Cze) 71 76 75 74

297 Jing Yan (Chn) 71 72 78 76, Pornanong Phatlum (Tha) 72 73 79 73, Kristy McPherson 75 73 72 77, Ana Belac (Slo) 72 75 74 76

298 Kyung Kim 72 76 74 76, Kendall Dye 72 72 76 78

299 Mariajo Uribe (Col) 69 76 78 76

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