Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow return to action tonight [Wednesday] as the stars of the LPGA Tour enjoy a change of pace at the LOTTE Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii.
After both players performed well for four rounds at the year’s opening Major – the ANA – two weeks ago, the pair have been able to embrace the ocean views around Oahu with temperatures in the mid-twenties as the LPGA Tour resumes in paradise.
Maguire had led the ANA during round two at Mission Hills where a moving day 74 saw her winning chances fade. She banked $23,352 for the effort and sits in 22nd place on the Race to CME Globe with the Cavan professional hoping to build on what’s been an encouraging start to the season at an event that was postponed in her Rookie year in 2020.
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) April 14, 2021
Jordanstown professional Meadow missed the cut the last time the LOTTE came to town in 2019 but she’ll be buoyed by a final round 67 at the ANA that catapulted her up the leaderboard to a tie for 19th and a cheque worth $34,340. Up to 56th on the points table, Meadow will be looking to shine on paradise island with the 29-year old on a run of making three of her last three cuts having only missed the weekend rounds at the season opening Gainbridge LPGA.
Meanwhile, two-time winner Brooke Henderson will once again be one of the favourites to take the title as she attempts a rare three-peat on tour. The Canadian was just 20 when she won her first LOTTE title in 2018 before successfully defending in 2019. Her hat-trick bid was postponed due to Covid-19 but having claimed both titles by four strokes, on a golf course like Ko Olina where she never finished worse than 11th, it’s no wonder Henderson enjoys returning to Hawaii year after year.
“It’s just so nice to wake up in the morning and have a view over the ocean. It just puts everything in perspective. Just makes you feel calm and peaceful, which I think is exactly what we need right now, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to bring that into my game a little bit more over the next few year,” said Henderson. “Just trying to enjoy the process a little bit more and being calm out there.”
Henderson has the opportunity to become the first Tour player to earn a three-peat since Inbee Park at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship from 2013-15.
“It’s definitely a rare opportunity, and so it would be nice to make the most of it. But I’m just really excited for the chance. To be in this position is really cool. I was in it once before in Portland and came up short on the three-peat, but just to have the opportunity, like I said, is really amazing,” said Henderson.
“You can only do one shot at a time, especially on a different golf course. There is a lot of learning to it. So just being patient and trying to stick to the game plan.”
Irish tee-times (Irish time)
- 11.28pm Maguire / 12.45am – Meadow
- Full scoring HERE