After her sensational victory at last week’s Meijer LPGA Classic, Leona Maguire has risen to 12th in the Rolex Rankings, the official world rankings for the female game.
Heading into this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at New Jersey’s Baltusrol, the former amateur number one is at the top of her game having played Blythefield Country Club’s closing six holes in six-under to capture her second LPGA Tour title, and another strong performance is likely to see her crack the top 10 for the first time in her career.
Having started the year ranked 11th, four top-10 finishes in 10 worldwide starts had somehow seen her slip to 19th ahead of the Mizuho Classic, which only serves to highlight the competitive nature of the upper echelons of the women’s game.
The win at the Meijer Classic came on the back of consecutive top-10 finishes, the former a tied-third placing at the LPGA Matchplay and the latter a T7 finish at the Mizuho Americas Open, and she’s finding form at the perfect time as the women’s major season ramps up.
Baltusrol, situated 20 miles west of New York city, has a long history of hosting major championships, with seven U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships and two Women’s U.S. Opens being held there, and Maguire, who visited for a practice round a few weeks previous, feels that the Meijer Classic was ideal preparation for the challenge ahead.
“Yeah, I played the Monday after the Mizuho,” she said. “It’s a beastly golf course. It’s a real major venue. I think this week is good preparation for it. I feel like I drove the ball really well this week.
“I think the greens are going to be firm and fast there like they were here. A slightly different test it being a major and all.”
Despite the different questions that Baltusrol is likely to ask, Maguire feels that her approach to the week will be the same as always.
“Not really,” she replied when asked if she’d make any alterations. “I think you still need to hit really good shots. You need to hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, putt well.
“So I think overall it doesn’t really change. I think Baltusrol will probably be a little longer next week, probably the par-5s will be a little trickier.
“But overall really happy with where my game is at and just try to, like I said before, rest and recover and reset as quickly as possible tonight, tomorrow, leading into it, so we’re ready to go on Thursday.”