Fast starts for Meadow and Maguire in Australia

John Craven

Leona Maguire (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire have hit the ground running at the LPGA Tour’s ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia.

The 13th Beach Golf Club was playing host to a unique week on the calendar where both a men and women’s tournament is played over the same courses for equal prize money.

The field will play the Creek Course and the Beach Course on days one and two before moving to the Beach on the weekend.

Of Ireland’s competing pair, Meadow was most impressive as she looks to accelerate into the new season. The Jordanstown professional was taking on the more difficult Beach Course on day one but made light work of the assignment in firing five birdies in a blemish-free opening round of 67.

Having found 14 of 18 greens in regulation on a solid day of ball-striking, Meadow needed just 28 putts and at five-under, she shares 15th spot heading into day two, three strokes behind Swede Madelene Sagstrom and South Korea’s Haeji Kang.

Maguire meanwhile was also taking on the Beach Course and she was looking set to rival Meadow’s five-under par opening after getting to four-under through 15 holes of her round.

The Cavan professional bogeyed 16 before eventually signing for a three-under par 69 but with six birdies on the card – including one at each of the par-5s – it was a great opening day’s work for Leona as she looks to bounce back from a missed cut at her first event of the season in Boca Rio.

“I gave myself a lot of birdie chances,” said Maguire. “I had six birdies out there today, the conditions were pretty much perfect. I holed a few nice putts and made some good par saves so all-in-all, a pretty good start to the week.”

Maguire also found 14 of 18 greens in regulation but needed 30 putts, two more than Meadow, with her three-under total just inside the top-30 ahead of Friday’s second round at the 72-hole event.

Full scoring HERE

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