Maguire just five back after gutsy 71 in Portland

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Leona Maguire (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

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Leona Maguire recovered from a double bogey at her opening hole to post a one-under par effort to open her account at the LPGA Tour’s Cambria Portland Classic.

The Cavan professional brushed off the slow start to bounce back with four birdies in a hard-fought 71 on day one of the event that was reduced to 54 holes because of poor air quality caused by wildfires.

Maguire is just inside the top-40, trailing the leaders by five with defending champion Hannah Green leading the way at six-under par alongside Cydney Clanton after the pair fired 66’s at Columbia Edgewater.

Green was able to finish in fading light, while many other afternoon starters were still on the course when darkness suspended play.

“I’m super happy that we finished and super happy with my round,” Green said. “I did bogey my last hole, but obviously did some great things out there. Putted really well, so I need to continue that. I’m kind of glad that I have a quick turnover. Hopefully, I can continue the momentum tomorrow.”

The 23-year-old Australian, also the major KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner in a breakthrough 2019 season, birdied four of the first five holes and returned from the weather break to add another on the par-5 seventh. After missing birdie chances on the two back-nine par 5s, she birdied the par-3 13th and 16th and closed with a bogey on the par-4 18th just before sunset.

Last year, she matched the tournament 72-hole scoring record at 21 under.

“It’s obviously really soft,” Green said. “We’ve had a lot of rain today, so it’s very different conditions to last year. So you can be quite attacking I guess with the pins, but a few of them actually spun a lot, so you’ve got to be careful with what club you chose.”

Clanton birdied five of the last eight holes in her morning round. The American teamed with Jasmine Suwannapura last year to win the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.

“I hit the ball really well, but I’ve been hitting the ball really well, and the putter was finally hot,” Clanton said. “I finally made some putts. It’s also nice to hit some really close and had a par 5 in two have a two-putt. So, it was really nice to see the ball starting to go in the hole.”

Meanwhile, Stephanie Meadow birdied her closing two holes but has much work to do after returning an opening three-over par round of 75 that puts her in a tie for 112th.

Full scoring HERE

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