Leona Maguire was pleased with her day’s work after dispatching Sweden’s Linnea Strom 4&2 in the opening round robin encounter of the 2023 Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play at Shadow Creek.
The Cavan star didn’t need her best stuff on Wednesday, making the turn 3UP with three birdies on the par-5s before winning holes on 10 and 16 in par before completing a comfortable win.
“It’s been three weeks off for me, so nice to get back into the swing of things,” said Maguire who was feeling refreshed after some extended time back home.
“I think is one of the best golf courses we play all year. It’s in such great shape. You really have to execute your shots.
“Drove the ball nice today. Let a few go. Wasn’t the tidiest round, but holed a couple nice putts when I needed to, and good momentum heading into tomorrow.”
Maguire proved to be a match play star for Catriona Matthew’s European side at the Solheim Cup in 2021. The record-breaking rookie was the player Team USA looked to avoid and while Maguire missed this event last year, there was no hiding the fact that she relishes the format.
“Yeah, I didn’t play last year, but this is the tournament I was looking forward to. I like match play, especially the fact we don’t get to do it very often,” she said ahead of two more round-robin matches and hopeful progression to the knockouts.
“So yeah, two more days and hopefully the weekend ahead. You kind of just have to take every match as it comes. Play whoever is in front of you, try and play as well as you possibly can, and if it’s enough, it’s enough.”
Maguire felt that par was a good score on most holes at a firm and fast Shadow Creek but rolling the dice with driver on the narrow Vegas fairways, Maguire cashed in on the par-5s to ultimately get the job done.
“I hit some really nice drives down those par-5s,” she said. “They’re quite narrow, some of the tee shots, the way they’re angled on the par-5s, so if you hit the fairway you know you’re going to have a really good chance.
“The greens are firming up, so you really have to take advantage of where those birdie chances are; then there is a few you just have to play a little smart on.
“I think the par-3s are really tough. You really have to pick your spots into them and almost play away from the pin on some of them.
“Yeah, take advantage of the par-5 and really any other chance you get.”
Maguire faces Jenny Shin in round two after the South Korean also enjoyed a winning start over compatriot Narin An.
- Full scoring HERE
Leave a comment