Maguire celebrates birthday weekend with top-15 finish

Leona Maguire (Photo: Symetra Tour)

Leona Maguire fired two sub-70 rounds to celebrate her birthday weekend in style at the Open de Espana.

The Cavan professional, along with twin sister Lisa, turned 25 on November 30th and the pair seemed to relish the good vibes in Andalucia with rounds of 68 and 69 ensuring a significant climb up the leaderboard over the final two days.

Sunday’s three-under par effort included five birdies as Maguire signed off on her Ladies European Tour season with a four-under par tally good enough for a tie for 13th in the Costa del Sol.

It was Maguire’s first fairway appearance since earning her promotion to the LPGA Tour via the Symetra Tour’s Order of Merit and after finishing up in Spain, she’ll be soon getting stuck into a pre-season before her LPGA Tour dream starts in Australia at the ISPS Handa Vic Open in February.

The result secured the 25-year old a cheque worth €5,700 too –  a nice pre-Christmas bonus before she enters the Pearly Gates of the LPGA Tour where $75 million will be up for grabs next year.

Meanwhile Anne Van Dam from the Netherlands won the Open de España for the second straight year on Sunday, collecting her fifth Ladies European Tour title at Aloha Golf Club in Marbella.

Van Dam was three strokes behind Nanna Koerstz Madsen after the third round and the Dane was still one ahead coming to the 18th tee. However, as the winds strengthened, Madsen hit an aggressive drive into the lake left of the fairway and then three-putted, running up a double bogey.

Van Dam used her 4-iron to split the fairway, before playing up to the green and eventually rolling in a two-foot putt for par to seal the victory, her second of the 2019 season, following her earlier win at the ActewAGL Canberra Classic.

“I did not expect that,” said Van Dam, 24, who earned her third trophy in Spain, following her Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open and Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España titles in 2018.

“That’s golf. It was a crazy day. If you would have told me at the beginning of the day that two under was enough to win, I would have said, okay, I’ll take it! It was a different day with harder conditions, a little bit of wind and it got really cold towards the end.”

“Nanna is a good friend of mine and I would have loved to have beaten her in a play-off; that would have been a better feeling for me, but that’s golf. She took more of a risk hitting a driver off the tee and I’ve been hitting an iron off the tee there all week.”

Van Dam, the longest hitter on both the LET and LPGA Tours in 2019, took her driver out of her golf bag for the tournament, but admitted that she is keen to be reunited with it:

“I’m not sure we’re going to keep that going, because I love to hit driver, but it was a different week and you didn’t need a driver much this week. I just stuck to my plan, even though it was hard to only hit 3-wood sometimes. It was a game plan we made this week and it paid off. I had a 3-iron and a 4-iron I could use off the tee as well as a 5-wood and a 3-wood, so I had a lot of options from the tee and I think that paid off.”

Full Spanish Open scoring HERE



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