After a mesmerizing week of thrilling competition in Spain that saw dreams realised and history made, the LPGA is back to its regularly scheduled programming of stroke play, with Leona Maguire among those looking to continue her great form back into the regular season.
The Tour will warm up again with a quick jaunt at Pinnacle Country Club for the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G – a 54-hole tournament that always promises a birdie fest.
After an undefeated debut in 2021, Maguire once again played in all five matches at Finca Cortesin, earning 3 points with a 3-2-0 record. The Irishwoman was unstoppable in her final match against Rose Zhang, beating the rookie 4 and 3.
Maguire is joined by Solheim Cup teammates Georgia Hall and Emily Pedersen. Coming away with a 1-2-1 record and just 1.5 points for team Europe, it wasn’t Hall’s best showing, but with a tied 14-14 finish, every point was important. Despite Maguire’s standout performance, you could argue it was Pedersen, a captain’s pick, who probably had the most notable performance in Spain last week.
The Dane also played in all five matches, amassing a 2-2-1 record to capture 2.5 total points. She struggled early with a loss in her opening foursome match on Friday alongside Charley Hull. However, she managed to turn everything around and stun the world with just the second ace in Solheim Cup history during her fourball match that afternoon. After that, Pedersen’s game kicked into high gear, and she might be bringing some of that magic to the States with her this week. Regardless of how they performed, all three will come off a historic performance and ride some serious momentum across the pond into Pinnacle Country Club.
On the other side of the competition, five Americans will be making the long journey to Arkansas this week. Though they didn’t play last week, captain Stacy Lewis and assistant captain Natalie Gulbis will hit the course this week alongside three of their players, including Danielle Kang, Cheyenne Knight and Lexi Thompson.
Rookie Knight had the best week of the three for a show-stopping Solheim Cup debut. With a 2-0-1 record, the Texan was one of few players to go undefeated last week, joining fellow American Megan Khang (3-0-1), Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh (0-0-2) and Spaniard Carlota Ciganda (4-0-0).
Thompson also turned in an invaluable performance – some of her best golf of the season so far – going 3-1-0 and winning the final singles match against Pedersen to earn the Americans’ 14th point and tie the Solheim Cup for the first time in the competition’s history.
Stephanie Meadow joins Maguire as the Irish contigent in the field and the Northern Irish golfer will look to improve on a barren run of form this week as the season enters its final stretch, with just nine events left on the schedule.
Meadow gets her first round underway off the tenth tee at 7.59am local time, 12.59pm Irish time with Maguire also off the tenth tee alongside Lexi Thompson at 1.32pm local time, 7.32pm Irish time.