Leona Maguire lamented a cold putter as she lost ground on the lead at the halfway stage of the Dana Open presented by Marathon in Ohio.
Maguire is six-under-par after a second round of 70 lifted her to six-under and four shy of America’s Lucy Li.
Teeing off one off the pace the Cavan native opened what proved to be a very uneventful round with a bogey before picking up birdies on the fourth and fourteenth to ensure she salvaged an under-par round out of the day and remained in the hunt in 9th place.
“Yeah, just a bit of a slow day,” said Maguire who took 32 blows on the putting surfaces. “Gave myself lots of chances. Didn’t quite putt as well as I did yesterday.
“Just didn’t hit as many good putts as I did yesterday. I was above the pin a lot today as well, which made it a little bit trickier. Couldn’t be as aggressive as yesterday.
“Drove the ball really nice. Yeah, gave myself a lot of chances, so just need to putt a little bit better on the weekend,” added Maguire who was absolutely deadly on the greens 12 months ago in nearby Inverness as she became the record Solheim Cup points scorer for a rookie.
Even with the unique set up of two par fives to finish, the 27-year-old was unable to find any closing birdies to move closer to Li at the summit.
“Yeah, it would’ve been very easy to get frustrated today and sort of lose patience. Hung in well, tried to give myself couple chances to finish on 17 and 18.
“Yeah, I mean, under par is still under par,” she shrugged.
A one-over 72 saw Stephanie Meadow miss the cut by two strokes.
The Jordanstown native will be kicking herself after three birdies in her opening seven holes moved her to –3 for the tournament before four bogeys in five holes sent her tumblng down the leaderboard and below the cut line.
Epson Tour graduate Li holds a two shot lead over Carlota Ciganda and Ruoning Yin after a seven-under 64 and she is relishing the freedom of having her LGPA Tour card secured for 2023 and hopes to finally deliver on her potential.
“It definitely gives me kind of the ability to play free just knowing that I have status next year and kind of focusing on some other goals for me. You know, playing in some more LPGA starts and stuff like that.
“So definitely gives me a lot of confidence.
“Yeah, for sure. I mean, you know, I think initially when I first turned pro I kind of struggled with that, staying patient. Especially the first year being a little unlucky with COVID kind of slowing me down.
“I think the main thing, the number one thing for me why I’m playing better this year is the ability to kind of just when you’re on the course just forget about everything and just play your golf.
“It was a little bit tough for me because I was so young, but someone called me old this week, which was tough. Just focusing on playing my game and not think about the past or the future. Doesn’t really matter when you’re out there.”