Gutsy Maguire maintains 100% Match-Play record with hard-fought win over Shin

John Craven

Leona Maguire (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire came back from four down through eight holes to win four of the last five and claim the scalp of Jenny Shin in the second round robin encounter of the 2023 Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play at Shadow Creek.

The Cavan star had to dig deep into the well on Thursday to maintain her perfect start with a birdie at the ninth reducing the deficit to 3 holes and proving the catalyst for a brilliant back nine comeback.

“I didn’t feel like I got off to that bad of a start. Jenny just holed some nice putts, a few birdies, and I find myself 4-down after 8, which wasn’t exactly an ideal position to be in,” Maguire reflected.


“Dermot [Byrne – caddie] kept me patient. Just tried to keep hitting good shots. Made birdie on 9, which gave me a little momentum. Then, yeah, just tried to hang in, stay patient.

“Had a couple really good up and downs on 13 and 14. Got lucky on 15. It bounced on the rocks and came out and got up and down. So I guess you need a little luck sometimes for results like that to go your way.”

Maguire had pulled level after 15 holes before Shin fired back with a birdie of her own on the par-5 16th. Yet leaning on her match-play experience, Solheim Cup star Maguire limited the mistakes on the closing two holes, with a pair of pars enough to seal a 1up victory.

“Yeah, 17, it’s playing short today but it’s hard,” Maguire explained. “It’s so far downwind. That pin is so tight. You can barely stop it. Came up a little bit short in the bunker. Nearby plugged, but not quite, and I had a really nice up and down there.

“Jenny went over the back and didn’t get up and down.

“Went to 18 all square. Hit a really nice drive and nice wedge to about ten feet. Jenny three-putted so it didn’t matter in the end, but felt like I finished strong with some good momentum and hit some key shots when I really needed to.”

As for the game-plan for the final round robin encounter, the order of the day is more of the same as Maguire tries to keep the mantra simple.

“Same as the last two days: just try and play as well as I possibly can,” she added. “It’s a tough golf course, so with the heat you have to focus on yourself. I don’t think you can waste any energy on anybody else or what they’re doing.

“Just try and play as well as I can, hit as many fairways as I can, and try and hole a few putts.”

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