Maguire in the mix again as Meadow slips back in New Jersey

Ronan MacNamara
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Leona Maguire (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire birdied two of her last three holes to climb into contention at the halfway stage of the Mizuho Americas Open in Jersey City.

Maguire carded a two-under 70 to share 12th place on three-under and she is just four shots off the lead held by Minjee Lee and Cheyenne Knight.

The Cavan woman had briefly moved to four-under courtesy of four birdies and a bogey in her opening eight holes before back-to-back bogeys around the turn dropped her back to -2.

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A bogey on the par-5 6th undone all her hard work as she slipped back to where she started but birdies on 7 and 8 made sure she moved back into the mix.

Stephanie Meadow fell eight shots shy after a five-over 77 dropped her back to one-over-par.

Australia’s Lee raced through the field with a 64 to join Knight at the summit while Lydia Ko is just a shot further back on six-under.

“I think Liberty National is kind of a course where if you play it more, the better idea you have,” said Lee, an eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour. “So, since it’s the inaugural event it’s the same for everybody.”

Jin Young Ko, Brooke Henderson and Atthaya Thitikul are lurking on five-under alongside Rose Zhang who looks instantly at home in the pro ranks.

Zhang was delighted just to make the cut despite winning 12 of her 20 events in Stanford over the last two years.

“I think tomorrow and the day after will be also no expectations on me; more so learning what it means to be playing in a lead group as a professional and going from there,” the 20-year-old said.

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