Maguire hoping it’s third time lucky at Meijer LPGA Classic

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

After successive runner-up finishes to Nelly Korda and Jennifer Kupcho, Leona Maguire is hoping it’s finally her time as she hunts a second LPGA Tour title at the Meijer LPGA Classic.

Maguire pushed Korda to the 72nd hole in 2021 at Blythefield Country Club before a sensational final round charge last year came up just shy in a playoff to Kupcho. Despite a couple of near misses Maguire views this tournament as the ideal preparation to build up a head of steam ahead of next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Baltusrol.

“Yeah, it’s always nice to come back to a golf course that you feel comfortable on,” said the Ballyconnell woman who is joined in the field by Stephanie Meadow.

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“I suppose now I’m at the point where I’m able to pick and choose my schedule a little bit more and this was always one that was going to be added straightaway. It’s a golf course you know you have to go low on, scoring is low, so you tend to be a little bit more aggressive when you know it’s going to be like that.

“Ultimately a lot of times it comes down to who holes the most putts. Greens are rolling nice, so hopefully can roll as many in as I can.”

The setup of golf courses has been the topic of debate amongst the top LPGA Tour players with courses seemingly presenting tougher than in previous years.

“I mean, it’s interesting. I think we’ve played — we’re coming off Liberty National and Shadow Creek, which were two incredibly good golf courses and good tests, so it allowed itself to be set up tough,’ said Maguire.

“Yeah, be interesting. I think if this golf course gets firm it gets a lot more difficult very quickly. They don’t have to do an awful lot of trickery.

“When it’s soft, well that’s when there becomes a lot of chances. A lot comes down to more the course conditions than to the layout, per se.

“So, yeah, I mean, they can make this as hard and easy as they want it to be. I always like when it’s a bit on the tougher end. I like when you have to think a bit more and pick your spots around the golf course.”

The world number 20 is coming into the event following a T7 finish at the Mizuho Americas Open after taking some time off back home in Ireland. It’s all part of the plan as she conserves energy ahead of the bulk of the season with the Women’s PGA Championship, Women’s US Open, Evian Championship and Women’s Open Championship coming up.

“I think the big thing, obviously when you play well you’re kind of excited to get going. Want to do more, want to do more. The big thing at Liberty National was conserving energy that week.

“Took it easy on Monday, Tuesday, and worked my way into the week. It’s the same with this stretch coming up. Obviously it’s major season and they require a bit more concentration, more mental energy than regular events, so you just want to make sure you’re as fresh and sharp as possible.

“Feel like this week is a really good warm up for Baltusrol next week.”

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