Leona Maguire tees it up in just her second CME Group Tour Championship as she looks to end a fantastic year on a high note.
Maguire enters the week in 17th place after a maiden LPGA Tour win in February and six top-10 finishes.
The Cavan native arrives in Naples, Florida in good form following a tenth place finish in the Pelican Women’s Championship last week as Nelly Korda held off Lexi Thompson to return to the summit of the Rolex World Rankings.
The 27-year-old can secure her best Race to CME Globe finish with a good week here. Her best finish was 17th last season in a year where she announced herself on the world stage.
“I’m really looking forward to this week and trying to post a good finish to the season” Maguire said ahead of the opening round.
“Its been a long but memorable season and my game has been trending nicely leading into this week. The course here is in great shape and if i can get the putter rolling like i did for a few days last week hopefully i can get myself into the mix come Sunday”
This may be the last event of the LPGA season but Maguire is set to make her final appearance of the year in Spain next week as she plays the LET season finale at Alferini Golf on the Costa Del Sol.
“Spain will be a nice event to end the season on the LET and i plan to get down and visit Finca Cortesin where the Solheim Cup is set for next year too. I have travelled a lot across the Atlantic this year and after Spain i am really looking forward to getting home to spend some time off with my family and recharge the batteries”
Maguire tees off alongside Hannah Green at 16:20 Irish time.
Lydia Ko is the Race to CME Group leader while Jin Young Ko returns to defend her CME Group Tour Championship title albeit while battling a wrist injury.
“It’s ok, but not good,” said Ko who missed consecutive cuts for the first time in her career in August.
“I just want to know what problems are in my game right now,” she explained. “I was debating whether I should go back to the States or not to play the last two tournaments until I got on the plane. Even though I am having a hard time right now, the two events will make me stronger. I have to feel something from this pain and my difficult situation.
“It’s the first time I’ve had such a difficult situation in my life, but I think I need times like this because I need to think for myself.
“I don’t want to think too much,” Ko said. “Now in my mind I have a lot of things from golf or from life, so I want to be clear in my mind. Just one tournament left, so I’m going to tough it out.
“Same as Nelly, I’m worried about my wrist, how long this injury takes to recover,” Ko said. “This is my fault because this is my body. I didn’t (take) care of my body, so that’s why it caused the problem with my wrist.”
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko has the target on her back this week ahead of world number two Atthaya Thitikul.
Both players have won twice on the LPGA Tour while Thitikul spent a brief period as world number one before being dethroned by Korda last week.
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