Leona Maguire: “It’s definitely going to be one of the more strategic majors”

Mark McGowan

Leona Maguire (Dustin Satloff/USGA)

Mark McGowan

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Leona Maguire is gearing up for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club in the Seattle Suburbs, and is expecting the extremely tight and tree-lined Pacific Northwest course to ask tough questions throughout.

“I played the back nine on Monday and played the Pro-Am yesterday,” she said on Wednesday, “and then we’ll have one more look today on the front, but I mean, I think it’s pretty obvious this week you have to keep the ball in the fairway and with there being so many trees, angles are going to be really important.

“So even hitting it on the fairway is, isn’t enough, you have to hit it on the right spot on the fairway.

“It’s not the longest golf course so you can take less than driver if needs be and go in with a little more club, so yeah, it’s definitely going to be one of the more strategic majors we’ve played in a while.”

The Cavan superstar arrived at last year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship as the most recent LPGA Tour winner and carried that form through 54 holes at Baltusrol before running out of juice on a stop-start, weather affected Sunday. This year, having struggled to bring her ‘A’ game for all four rounds of a tournament, she’s a bit more under the radar.

“Yeah, I mean, last year obviously I was quite tired after everything that happened,” she admitted, ” but I was playing a lot better, which is nicer. So yeah, it’s a very different week this time.”

This will be her 29th major appearance and 15th in succession, but given the strong fields that assemble week-to-week on the LPGA circuit, she doesn’t feel that anything needs to change in terms of preparation on major weeks.

“I mean, the fields are predominantly the same,” she explained. “The golf courses are getting tougher [on the LPGA Tour] and tougher fields with that as well. So either way you have to play some great golf to do well every week.

“So, preparation really stays very similar. I mean, you know, it’s going to be a slightly tougher test in a major, but either way you’re still trying to play your best golf.”

Maguire is set to join Solheim Cup teammate Charley Hull from England and Japan’s Ayaka Furue for rounds one and two, with the trio set to get underway in the early wave on Thursday at 16:22 Irish time.

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