Maguire on target for a unique Irish victory double at Carnoustie

Bernie McGuire

Leona Maguire (Photo by David Cannon/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Leona Maguire reveals a little course ‘knowledge’ has helped as Ireland’s top-ranked women’s player superbly put herself in position to capture what would be a remarkable Irish double victory first at Carnoustie.

Maguire was just two shots off the clubhouse lead thanks to a sizzling bogey-free five-under par 67 in bright, calm but cold conditions on day two of the year’s final women’s major. The 26-year-old Ballyconnell star golfer capped her round with three birdies in four holes from the fourth and then birdied 12 and 14, the two par-5s on the inward half.

This week is Maguire’s 17th appearance in the majors and a fifth in the Women’s Open championship while she’s coming off a career high of T6th in the Evian Masters, her best result in the majors so far

“I felt like I played really solid out there today,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I did a whole lot wrong yesterday. Just didn’t hole any putts. I spent a lot of time last night working on my putting and my stroke and got off to a really nice start today. It was nice to get a few birdies early and turn in under par, and take advantage of the two par 5s coming in.”

Maguire is no stranger to Carnoustie revealing she contested the 2012 Women’s British Amateur the year fellow Irish woman Stephanie Meadow prevailed as champion. And Maguire was asked where Carnoustie, or as it is sometimes affectionately referred as ‘Carnastie’, ranks in terms of toughness.

“It has to be up there with the toughest,” she said. “It’s most demanding probably mentally I suppose, as well. You have to be fully concentrating on every single shot. You can’t really play too defensive either other-wise you make it into the beast. You have to hit the driver on some of the holes and take on fairway bunkers. I would definitely rank it up.

“I haven’t played Lytham yet, which I know is quite tricky. Royal Troon played tough because of the weather but Carnoustie plays tough because of the conditions.”

And it led to a follow-up question if she had looked at videos of compatriot Padriag Harrington winning golf’s oldest major in 2007.

“I suppose any year when The Open is on, they show highlights of Pádraig winning,” she said. “That pitch shot is quite iconic, the one he was able to spin so nicely.

“And my caddie Dermot (Byrne) has been here for 20-odd years for the Dunhill and British Open, so it’s nice to have that extra bit of knowledge there, as well.”

Of course, Maguire is also this week looking to cement her place and create Irish women’s golfing history by being selected to represent GB&I early next month at the Solheim Cup at the Inverness club in Ohio. Maguire is currently ranked 17th and if she should not qualify automatically, a strong top-of-the-board finish could sway European captain, Catriona Matthew to select her.

“I’ve had the same approach to the Solheim Cup all year,” said Maguire.

“I feel like my golf results will take care of things like that. This is a big week. I want to do as well as I possibly can and the better I do, the better it is for the Solheim Cup. It’s the last major of the year, so I’d like to finish on a high note.”

……… From one McGuire to another Maguire, well said Leona.


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