Maguire hoping for large Irish support at Solheim Cup

Ronan MacNamara

Leona Maguire (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire hopes to have a large Irish crowd supporting her and her European team mates in Finca Cortesin next month as Europe look to win three Solheim Cups in a row for the first time.

Maguire will head to Spain with Team Europe after a record-breaking performance as a rookie two years ago in Ohio as Europe won on US soil for only the second time. There was a limited away support that week and the Cavan woman is looking forward to plenty of Irish and European support in Spain.

“Hopefully there will be a lot of Irish people. I know a lot of Irish people have winter homes down there and stuff like that, so hopefully they’ll be — I know Finca is going to be a little bit tricky in terms of crowds getting around, but yeah, hopefully there will be as many cheering us on as they can,” said Maguire who has her sister Lisa caddying for her this week.


“Hopefully there will be a lot of Europeans. I would imagine a very different experience. Be very little support there with all the travel restrictions and everything. I know there’s a lot of Swedish that winter down there. There’s a lot of Irish people that do, as well.

“So hopefully they’ll come out in droves and we’ll have a very Swedish heavy team this year, so, yeah, hopefully a lot of people making the trip there rooting us on.”

Suzann Pettersen’s charges took a team trip to Finca Cortesin at the end of last year and while the Norwegian will have plenty of say regarding course set up, the course might not be tailormade for Maguire’s strengths from the outset.

“Yeah, it’s a very different golf course, that’s for sure. I think Suzann has a lot of choices to make in terms of course setup, and I think it’ll play very difficult for us in the four-ball and things like that. It’s a big hitter’s golf course I would say. It’s a big golf course.

“But at the same time, around the greens are very tricky and things like that. I played it last November. We took like a team trip there at the last minute at the end of last year, so excited to go back. The team should be shaping up pretty well, as is the American team.”

The two-time LPGA Tour winner was speaking ahead of this week’s ISPS HANDA World Invitational at Galgorm Castle and Castlerock where the men are competing alongside the ladies in the DP World Tour, LPGA-LET sanctioned event.

“I think with the layout of the two golf courses a lot of our tees are actually the same as the guys’. We’ll probably have quite different strategies in terms of how we play the holes. We’ll probably be going driver a lot out here; whereas they’re probably taking 2-irons and things off tees.

“Yeah, it’s fun to see. A few of the guys I played junior golf with, and I was up here on Monday afternoon and two of the first guys I saw were Matteo Manassero and Adrian Otaegui, who I played the Junior Ryder Cup with in 2008. I haven’t really seen them since, so nice to catch up with them and see how far we’ve all come. We’ve all won on Tour now, and nice to see the journey.

“Yeah, it’ll be fun for the fans as well to see those sort of alternating groups, sort of see the difference, and hopefully people don’t try to compare too much. I think that you can enjoy the skill of both the ladies and the men without having to sort of compare and contrast them too much.

“I think there’s great things to see and learn from both sides without having to constantly compare them.”

Maguire tees off alongside Anne Van Dam and USA’s Marina Harigae.



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