Maguire set for showdown with Nelly Korda in matchplay final

Ronan MacNamara

Leona Maguire (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Leona Maguire eased by Sei Young Kim at the T-Mobile matchplay presented by MGM Rewards to set up a final with world number one Nelly Korda.

Maguire cruised to a 3&2 win in her semi final while Korda was a 4&3 winner over Narin An.

The Cavan woman went 1UP after 1 and never relinquished her advantage and she now stands in the way of Korda and four LPGA Tour titles in a row.

“Yeah, got off to a nice start; was 2-up early and she sort of hung in there and battled back,” said Maguire who is chasing a third LPGA Tour win.

“Yeah, just a steady round of golf really. I think when you’re doing these 36 hole days it’s who makes the least mistakes almost, especially on a golf course like today.

“Yeah, really happy how I played. Looking forward to tomorrow.”

Maguire was the number one seed in the matchplay stages after topping the 54-holes of strokeplay but she knows she will be the underdog against the rampant Korda.

“Nelly is the best in the world right now. She’s on a really hot streak. It’s been incredibly impressive what she’s been doing in the past few weeks.

“It’s going to be a really tough battle tomorrow. I’ve got a big challenge ahead of me. I’m excited. I mean, that’s why you practice. You want to play the best players in the world and that’s what Nelly is.

“Yeah, hopefully we have a great match tomorrow.”

A win on Sunday for Korda would be the second longest winning streak on the LPGA Tour and Korda would be just one shy of the record held by Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sorenstam who won five in a row on two occasions in 2004 and 2005.

The pair have done battle numerous times in the last two Solheim Cups ahead of their latest instalment.

On her Solheim Cup debut, Maguire alongside Mel Reid beat the Korda sisters in the opening morning foursomes before hammering Nelly and Ally Ewing 5&4 in the day two foursomes.

Nelly got her own back on Maguire last September beating her in the day one foursomes although Maguire got a 4&3 win over her in the day two fourballs.

“I think every round around here is a brand new day. Me and Nelly have our gone head to head a couple times. But either way it’s going to be a lot of fun tomorrow.

“Like I said, she’s playing some unbelievable golf right now. This entire week has been all about embracing the challenge. Early in the week that was the golf course, it was the weather. Tomorrow it will be whatever Nelly brings.

“I have a huge amount of respect for her and excited to get to go up against her tomorrow.”

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