Putting some of the top PGA and LPGA pros in a scramble is always likely to produce low scoring, particularly when you’ve got one of the best ball strikers in the men’s game paired with one of the most accurate women, and Leona Maguire and Lucas Glover made hay while the sun shone at Tiburon in the opening round of the Grant Thornton Invitational.
13 birdies and an eagle, with no dropped shots, saw them end day one at an incredible -15, one shy of Nelly Korda and Tony Finau. Maguire and Glover combined to birdie the opening 10 holes, setting a new tournament record for the opening nine holes, with the par-4 11th and 18th and par-3 12th and 16th the only holes they failed to register birdie or better.
Round two sees the 16-team field play in foursomes, with the third and final round introducing a modified fourball format.
“Yeah, we got it rolling early,” Maguire said afterwards. “I think it was nice. Lucas hit some really nice approach shots and I managed to roll a few putts. Anytime you can get on a birdie run like that, it’s pretty fun.”
Despite being some of the leading players on their respective Tours, neither Maguire nor Glover were overly familiar with each other’s game, though they quickly realised the similarities in their demeanours.
“Yeah, I think neither of us get too excited or too down on ourselves, so it’s pretty nice,” Maguire explained. “We had a nice stroll out there, and it was fun playing with Madelene [Sagstrom] and Ludvig [Aberg], as well. Ludvig was pretty impressive. Nice to see that up close, and Madelene is obviously a good friend of mine, as well. Plenty of chats, plenty of laughing out there, which is always nice.”
Keeping in your comfort zone is key to shooting low scores, even in a scramble where you have a little additional scope for error as long as a side don’t follow one error with another, but Glover quickly realised that his partner was an excellent putter.
“Yeah, I knew pretty early on, just get her on the green as close as possible and I wouldn’t have to putt much,” he laughed. “Yeah, when I saw our pairing, I checked everything out, and I’d watched some of the Solheim Cup recently anyway. Play different tours, but I think we were familiar enough to know.”
Large galleries turned up to watch the teams compete, and that was one of the things that impressed Maguire most given it’s a ‘silly season’ event.
“I think it’s great,” she said. “We were actually surprised how many people were out today. There was definitely really good crowds for a Friday, even though we were out early. Hopefully there will be even more over the weekend, and hopefully there will be a few more eyes on us on the LPGA side this weekend.
“It’s a lot of fun having the guys here, a lot of guys we’ve grown up watching on TV over
the years and every other weekend. Yeah, it’s a fun format, and nice to have it back on the schedule.”