Untimely rain delay halts Maguire’s momentum in Singapore

Mark McGowan

Leona Maguire (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire was four-under through eight holes of her second round and had moved to T2 on the leaderboard at the Women’s World Golf Championship when the heavens opened.

Dubbed ‘Asia’s Major,’ the HSBC sponsored event at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club always produces a top-class leaderboard and the opening day was no exception with no fewer than eight major champions in a tie for ninth or better.

A two-under-par 70 saw Maguire end round one T14 alongside world number one Lydia Ko, and the Cavan star was made to wait for her second round tee-time as early rain forced a 75-minute delay to the start of day two. Still, she came out firing, birdieing the par-4 first and adding three more at five, six and eight.

Clearly feeling it, Maguire had cut a swathe through the leaderboard in the early stages, but as heavy thunderstorms again moved into the area, the hooters sounded calling a halt to proceedings at 11.20 am local time.

Play didn’t officially resume until 2:53 pm and Maguire’s hot streak had somewhat cooled off. Back-to-back bogeys on the par-4s either side of the turn dropped her back to -2 for the day, and then a run of five successive pars saw her drift down the leaderboard as the other leading contenders picked up shots.

She’d end the par streak with a birdie at the par-5 16th, but disappointingly, would close out her round with a bogey-five at the last, meaning the Solheim Cup star would shoot back-to-back two-under-par 70s, to lie -4 through 36 holes, tied 21st on the leaderboard.

Danielle Kang was the big mover in round two, with the American posting a bogey-free nine-under 63 to leapfrog the leading pack and reach the clubhouse at -10.

The two-time US Women’s Amateur and 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship champion was on fire with all facets of her game, particularly on the greens where her new Scottie Cameron bespoke putter which she played a minor part in designing.

“Well, I mean, I can’t take credit for that,” Kang modestly said, “but it was really cool because I had an idea, then Mr. Scotty Cameron sketched it out, and then all of a sudden my thoughts became real, and then he molded them, and then we spent hours, and I think it took days for him to make these molds.

“And then I was with him for seven hours straight, grinding them, making it, buffering, lie lofting. It was incredible for me to watch. And I absolutely love that putter. And people keep asking me what it is. And he stamped it “DK Special” on the bottom, so that’s the name of it.”

“I actually don’t mind weather delays that much,” Kang said of the interlude, “because I feel I just have time to chill. I feel less rushed.

“But my caddie was really helpful in the rain. I told him he had magic towels. I don’t know what was happening, but the grip was fully soaked when it went in the bag, and every time he handed me the club, it was completely dry. So it was pretty incredible.”

She holds a one stroke lead over first-round leader Elizabeth Szokol, Allisen Korpuz, and Hyo Joo Kim, with Ashleigh Buhai, Nelly Korda and Linn Grant in a three-way tie for third at -8.


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