Maguire and Meadow locked at +2 as Cowley leads at Galgorm

Mark McGowan

Leona Maguire (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Rounds of one-under and level-par respectively for Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow see the Irish LPGA stars locked in a tie for 21st at two-over heading into the final round of the ISPS HANDA World Invitational at Galgorm Castle.

Strong winds swept across the Ballymena venue for the third day in succession at the co-sanctioned LPGA, LET and DP World Tour event, but tournament organisers showed their sympathetic side and set the course up a little easier than days one and two, making good scoring possible, however difficult.

Starting the day at +3, Maguire was among the early starters and got her round underway in ideal fashion despite being faced with the worst of the weather. Birdies at one and two had her rmoving nicely before a dropped shot at the fourth put the brakes on. From there, she’d reel off 14 straight pars to sign for a one-under 71, post +2, and climb to 21st on the leaderboard.


“Yeah, felt like I played really well,” Maguire said afterwards. “It was really tough there, especially on the front nine. It was rainy, it was gusty, it was pretty miserable out there. Yeah, made the most of what I had.”

With the wind set to die a little as storm Betty eased, it was tough for anybody in the early groups to make any kind of a move.

“Yeah, I mean, I think they definitely got the better end of the draw,” Leona explained. “It’s supposed to drop a little bit as the day goes on. It’s a lot of crosswinds out there today as opposed to a lot more straight in, straight down, so it’s definitely tricky on those crosswinds.

“There is a lot of tees up, so I would imagine there be a couple of low scores this afternoon.”

Meadow’s round began in contrasting fashion as she made a double bogey on her first – the tenth – and dropped further strokes at 12 and 17 to make the turn at +4 for the day. Resilience is never in short supply, however, and she inched her way back on the front side, picking up strokes on one, three, five and eight to drag herself back to level for the day and join Maguire at +2 on the board.

With a second, 54-hole cut coming at +4, the two Irish women are safely through and will be hoping for calmer conditions and a chance to make an early move in Sunday’s final round.

Gabriella Cowley was one of the later starters who made the most of the easing in conditions and blazed a trail right to the top of the leaderboard with a five-under 67 that is the lowest of the week in the women’s event.

The Englishwoman began the day two shots behind the leader and got off to a good start with birdies on the second, fourth and eighth holes. Cowley dropped a shot on the 10th but rolled in back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 and made another on 14.

The 27-year-old then had another bogey on the 15th but made a birdie on 17 to seal a round of 67 and move to the top of the leaderboard on six-under-par.

American Ryann O’Toole and Germany’s Esther Henseleit sit in a share of second place on five-under-par, while Switzerland’s Kim Metraux sits in solo fourth place on four-under-par after producing a round of 69.


Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.