Four birdies in her last seven holes took Leona Maguire from an early flight home onto the cut mark and within nine shots of the lead at the halfway point of the Chevron Championship in Texas.
A damaging back nine in round one after a rain delay left Maguire reeling on four-over and with a mountain to climb just to stick around for the weekend but a superb back nine of 32 has lifted her to one-over after a second round 69.
Birdies on the third, fourth, sixth and ninth moved the Cavan native into the top-60 and after appearing down and out she is looking up at the leaders as she plots a birdie mission over the weekend.
“Yesterday was a bit of a struggle, finished badly which was frustrating, had a hole to dig myself out of today but I stayed really patient which you have to do in majors,” Maguire told LPGA Communications. “I holed a big putt across the green on 3 for birdie and sometimes all you need is that little spark to give you momentum.
“Played really nicely on the way in, picked up a few birdies and have some good momentum heading into the weekend.
“It’s a major, you never know what happens. You’re just trying to get to the weekend and give yourself a chance. It’s pretty bunched and it doesn’t take much to move up the leaderboard. I never give up in general so you have to always keep trying no matter how far away it is.”
The 28-year-old started on the back nine and a birdie on 13 was the ideal opening. However, dropped shots on 14 and 15 saw her slip back to five-over with little hope of making the cut but she credited her caddie Dermot Byrne for giving her fuel for the fight.
“Dermot kept me going and kept me positive, got a few chances out there and thankfully took them,” explained Maguire who had to deal with a rain delay in round one before the start of her second round was delayed by another deluge of rain which only put her up against it even more heading out to a long and drenched golf course.
“You’re trying to improve all the time it’s a tough golf course, it’s long for me. They moved up a few tees today because it’s extremely wet out there I think we got the slightly worse end of the draw with the delay yesterday and this morning.
“The girls are going to get a dry golf course this afternoon and the morning but those kind of things are out of your control but I managed it pretty well.”
At the time of writing, Stephanie Meadow is one-under for the day and four-over for the championship. The Jordanstown native will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat when she returns to the golf course to complete her second round.
Meadow needs three birdies in her last three holes to make the projected cut.
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