Meadow and Maguire off to solid starts at the LOTTE Championship

Adam McKendry

Stephanie Meadow (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Adam McKendry

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Both Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow had encouraging opening rounds to ensure they would finish day one of the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii inside the top-30 and in position to kick on.

The Irish pair carded quite different outings but both finished on the same score, a pair of one-under 71s at Ko Olina leaving them in a share of 26th after the opening day.

At one-under, Maguire and Meadow are both five shots behind leader Hannah Green after the Australian shot a six-under 66 to lead by one from five players at the close of play.

While they scored the same, the Irish duo could not have carded more different 71s, with Maguire more conservative in her scoring at Ko Olina while Meadow took a more aggressive approach.
Meadow, who started at the 10th, dropped two early shots at the par-five 11th and par-three 12th, before her first birdie of the day at the par-four 16th was cancelled out by a bogey at the par-four 17th, but then she really found her scoring touch.

The Jordanstown woman rattled off three straight birdies around the turn, taking advantage of the par-five 18th and first and then adding another at the par-four second, and she would secure a finish in red figures with a birdie at the par-five fifth to cancel out a bogey at the fourth.

Meanwhile, Maguire needed a back-nine bounce back to sign for her 71 as she reached the turn in two-over thanks to bogeys at the par-four sixth and par-three ninth, but she rallied superbly with back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th to get back to level, and then added one more at 17 to finish one-under.

The woman they’re chasing down is former PGA champion Green, who had a remarkable stretch of seven straight holes without a par on her back-nine on her way to a six-under 66 that has her one shot clear of the field.
“I felt like I played really well. Hit a lot of good shots on our first nine; just couldn’t really capitalise on the putts. So it was kind of nice, on the back nine I holed one from off the green, so that was pretty cool,” said the 25-year-old.

“I hit the ball really good and I had nice numbers into the holes. It wasn’t really ever like too many hard shots, which is quite hard here in Hawaii. But I feel like the windier it gets and the harder it gets, I like that. I feel like I like the challenge.
“Those that play well are rewarded.”

Behind her, Alison Lee and Hyo Joo Kim were both bogey-free in their first rounds to sit five-under-par after 67s and in a tie for second one shot off the lead, where they are joined by India’s Aditi Ashok, Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff.


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