Maguire hoping to learn lessons of PGA Championship near miss at Open

Ronan MacNamara

Leona Maguire (Photo by Steph Chambers/R&A/R&A via Getty Images )

Leona Maguire feels she can apply the lessons learned from her final round disappointment at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in order to claim her maiden major title at the AIG Women’s Open.

Maguire took a one shot lead into the final round at Baltusrol in June, making it seven successive rounds in the 60s following her second LPGA Tour title at the Meijer Classic the week before but she faded away in the final round of the PGA ultimately finishing 11th.

“I think at Baltusrol, I put three really good rounds together. I think I had had seven rounds in the 60s or something leading into that day,” explained Maguire who was unable to contend at the US Women’s Open and Evian Championship.


“So yeah, I was probably playing really nice golf. I think the win the week before took a lot out of me. I was quite drained come Sunday and just didn’t have enough in the tank to get over the line.

“Knowing I could put myself in contention, it was obviously a new learning experience, to be in that situation in the lead last group Saturday and the lead last group Sunday and sort of the emotions and everything that went along with that.

“Yeah, I’d like to think that if I get myself in that position again, I’ll approach it a little differently and I’ll have learned from that experience.”

The Cavan native has one more roll of the dice – for this year at least – to become Ireland’s maiden female major champion and she may have competition in the near future with the next generation of golfers starting to rise to the surface.

Lauren Walsh recently turned pro and she will bid to join Maguire and Stephanie Meadow on the LPGA Tour after Q-School in the fall while Olivia Mehaffey is on the road to recovery again. Lahinch amateur Aine Donegan caught the eye at the US Women’s Open and Elm Park star Anna Foster will be hoping to do the same after qualifying on Monday.

“You try not to think about things like that. Obviously it’s great to see some more Irish girls coming up through the ranks. Áine Donegan at Pebble a few weeks ago, and Anna here as well, there’s more and more girls coming through the ranks which is really nice to see, and even with everything going on with the women’s World Cup right now, that visibility is massive,” said Maguire who is the highest ranked GB&I player in the world.

“There was a huge buzz at home for our women’s team. And I think that visibility is huge, to see someone that comes from where you come from, to see them on TV achieving on a world stage is massive in terms of growing the game, and even today, there’s a lot of little kids out here which is really nice to see young girls sort of watching and checking golf balls and signing autographs and all that.

“So yeah, I mean, anytime you see anybody doing well that sort of you can relate to, it only helps inspire the next generation.”

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