Leona Maguire enters unfamiliar territory this week – no, not Korea, though good guess. Instead she enters the BMW Ladies Championship looking to rebound from a first missed cut in some five months on Tour.
The Solheim Cup star visits Busan for the first time in her career for the second staging of the Championship that was cancelled last year due to a little known virus whose name escapes me. Maguire enters the tournament following a missed cut at the Founders where she returned rounds of 75 and 74 a fortnight ago in a rare off week for the Cavan ace.
It’s been quite the year for Maguire, of course highlighted by her superhuman performance at the Solheim where she returned a record points haul for a rookie to help Catriona Matthew’s side to the win. With five top-10s on her report card for the year to date, Maguire has been climbing the rankings steadily – now 46th in the world and 15th on the Race to CME Globe ahead of the November 18th starting Tour Championship.
With just two regular season events to go before the finale, regardless of how these few weeks play out, this will still go down as a landmark year for the 26-year old. However, an elusive first victory on the LPGA Tour would undoubtedly provide the perfect cherry on an already attractive looking cake.
“I’d like to finish off the season as strong as I possibly can. The season has been going well so far. If the season ended today I would still be incredibly happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better season,” she said at the Founders.
“It would be sort of cherry on top to finish off the year with a win. If I do, great. If not, take all the experiences from this year and bring them into next year.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the eyes on women’s golf shift to the Sunshine State for Stage II of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament from Thursday, Oct. 21-24. A 179-player field is set to compete in southwest Florida on the Panther and Bobcat Courses at Plantation Golf & Country Club.
Olivia Mehaffey takes her chance having safely negotiated Stage One. The Royal County Down and Tandragee star also fell victim to the halfway cut at the Founders but will no doubt use that experience to her advantage when she enters the pressure cooker Q-School environment knowing she needs a top-45 and ties finish to advance to Final Stage.
Action begins at 8:00 a.m. EDT all four days with the rotation Bobcat Course-Panther Course to be used in the first two rounds. The entire field will be re-paired by score for round three with lower scores playing the Panther Course and higher scores playing the Bobcat Course. In the final round, players will alternate the course played in round three and be re-paired by score. If a player started the third round on the Bobcat Course, she will be re-paired by score and play the Panther Course in the final round.
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