Maguire ready to back up Meijer success at Baltusrol

John Craven

Leona Maguire (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire is relishing the chance to put her winning form to the test at this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol.

The Cavan professional has had next to no time to let the magnitude of her second LPGA Tour title sink in, admitting it’s been a whirlwind 24 hours since slaying the field at the Meijer Classic on Sunday.

“It all happens quite quickly,” Maguire said on this week’s Irish Golfer Podcast on Monday.


“We finished, did the whole prize-giving, did all the media stuff, signed all the things, Dermot [Byrne caddie] was there with me and he headed for Chicago, I headed for the airport and I haven’t seen him yet this morning!

“It’s all systems go the fact it’s leading into a Major this week but we’ll try and rest and recover and go again as quickly as we can. We’ve a week off next week so that will give me more time to reflect.

“I obviously got to ring home last night [Sunday], talked to Mam and Dad, and Granny, Lisa and Odhran and all the rest of them at home and they were all delighted. It was a nice bonus for Dad winning on Father’s Day too!”

It’s a big ask for any player to back up a victory with another, not least heading into a Major, but while energy levels will be closely monitored this week, Maguire is delighted to have swing coach Shane O’Grady in New Jersey for a few days to throw an extra set of eyes over preparations.

“Energy conservation will be a massive thing this week – just managing what we do and how we practice,” Maguire says.

“The nice thing is that my game’s in good shape so I don’t need to be on the range beating balls for hours on end.

“Shane’s out this week for a few days which is quite nice – it’s the first Major he’s been at in a while so it’s great to have an extra set of eyes to help prepare alongside Dermot.

“That extra bit of knowledge is always welcome.”

Alongside bagman Byrne, Maguire conducted a recon mission to Baltusrol last Monday before the Meijer and is expecting a typically brutal PGA Championship test come Thursday’s opening day.

“It’s a beastly golf course. It’s a real major venue,” Maguire says. “I think last week was good preparation for it. I feel like I drove the ball really well and I’ll need to do that again this week.

“The greens are going to be firm and fast there like they were in Michigan. Obviously it’s a different test with it being a Major but I feel like my confidence has been high the last few weeks.

“It was a case of getting it all to come together and the goal was to be coming into good form heading into Baltusrol and Pebble, so we’ve peaked a week early, which is nice, so hopefully we can continue that run of form.”

If you’re into good omens, here’s something to note – all previous Meijer Classic champions have won Major championships. It’s certainly a nice statistic, but not one Maguire will be thinking about as she looks to avoid adding pressure to her latest Major push.

“I mean, it’s a nice one,” she says. “Obviously to get my second win is very nice and I’ll try and give myself as best a chance as possible in the remaining Majors this year,” she says.

“But I didn’t put any pressure on myself last week, so not going to do that for the rest of the season and just enjoy my golf as much as I can.”

Maguire will be joined by Stephanie Meadow in Baltusrol and the Jordanstown pro will also arrive in good form after enjoying a top-15 finish in Michigan.

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