Leona Maguire was gutsy to the last, but she ran out of steam in the searing Las Vegas heat as her Bank of Hope LPGA Matchplay campaign ended with defeat to Japan’s Ayaka Furue.
Maguire was 2UP after 7 holes but was beaten 2&1 after both players halved the par-3 17th in pars.
“Yeah, just didn’t have my best stuff today. I think couple of costly bogeys on the back nine. But, you know, Ayaka played solid. She basically played the way I played the rest of the days. Didn’t really do anything wrong. Yeah, just didn’t hole the putts when I needed to. Overall it’s been a good week.”
This match was by no means a classic and Maguire didn’t have to do much to find herself with a cushion early on. Having lost the opening hole to a par Maguire was one-over after 7 holes yet two up before Furue found some form around the turn to turn the tide.
An eagle on the par-5 9th and a birdie on 10 saw the Japanese golfer move level with the Cavan star before a par on 12 saw her go 1UP.
A bogey on the par-4 15th was enough to go 2UP with three to play and she held on from there.
Maguire’s shoulders dropped after she saw a putt to move 3UP through eight holes slip by and she never got any momentum after that.
“I kind of put myself in a few wrong spots that I couldn’t be aggressive. Kind of had to play safe. Yeah, couldn’t really attack from there. Was kind of trying to play for pars instead of giving myself birdie chances. I think that kind of caught up to me on the back nine.
“I think this is one of the toughest courses we play all year, so played some really, really good golf around a really good, tough golf course. So try and bring that momentum into next week.”
Pajaree Anannarukarn of Thailand capped off the longest week on the LPGA Tour with a 3&1 victory over Furue to win the title.