Maguire powers to early lead in Aramco Team Series London

Kevin Kent

Leona Maguire (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

Kevin Kent

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An early start this week but no shortage of action as the Aramco Team Series hit London. There was to be early drama as home favourite Charley Hull was forced to withdraw after six holes. Consultation with her physio and suffering from illness, meant Hull’s week was over.

Leona Maguire showed no signs of weakness despite hitting grandstands as she powered her way around Centurion Club in -7 to sit in the clubhouse with the lead by one.

Blemish free for her round today, in this individual and team event, the Cavan woman was ruthless as she and her team lead going into Thursday. Birdies on four of the six par-5s today, a look at where the scoring is on this par-73 in London.

Dublin’s Lauren Walsh also familiarised herself with the par-5s here on Centurion, her triple bogey 8 on the 9th undoing her four birdies. She still sits within striking distance heading into the second day.

Level par will feel disappointing for Walsh but, as she showed last week once again, the battle is not over, and we can expect a rally heading into day two.

Hot on the heels of Maguire sits Austrian Sarah Schober on -6, while a trio of Nuria Iturrioz, Megan Dennis from England and Chloe Williams from Wales are two strokes back on -4. Here be dragons as Georgia Hall and Anna Nordqvist lurk with intent in the field.

Team Maguire shares the lead in the team stakes today on a combined -14, who are made up of the Solheim Cup winner, England’s Liz Young, Spain’s Marta Sanz Barrio and amateur Yana Wilson didn’t have a dropped shot on their team scorecard.

Maguire spoke about her team’s performance today: “We were all making a few birdies today which always helps and there were no dropped shots on the team card either which I think helps a lot in these conditions,” said Maguire.

“I think we had a nice atmosphere, a nice team. It was very comfortable out there and nice to roll in a few. It will be a bit of a quick turnaround, a long day. It will be a bite to eat then straight to bed and we’ll get out early in the morning again.”

Sitting second place and one shot behind Maguire, Austria’s Sarah Schober gave her thoughts after her six under round: “I’m very happy and pleased with the game,” said Schober.

““It was a really good day, I really enjoyed it out there. We had a really good team. Lately, I have felt way better than the scores have shown. I am very happy today that everything came together and clicked in. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. There’s still two days to go, I’m very relaxed and just want to enjoy it out there.”

It was also a good first day for the defending Team champion Georgia Hall as her quartet carded a round of 14-under-par with no dropped shots to match Team Maguire at the top with Team Iturrioz.

English duo Hall and Hannah Burke played alongside Morocco’s Lina Belmati and amateur Shane Hart-Jones, who contributed a net eagle on the final hole of the day. The major champion said: “I could have hit it a bit closer today, my irons and distance control wasn’t that good but all in all we battled really well together. When one of us made a bogey, the other two came in and that’s what’s really important in this team format.

“Fingers crossed for tomorrow. It was a two-and-a-half club wind out there at times, hopefully, we’ll get easier conditions tomorrow and start the round like what we did today.”

Team Maguire head into day two in London with plenty of momentum but plenty of competition in and intriguing battle around the noisy Centurion Club. Maguire heads out at 8.27 off the 10th tee-box while Lauren Walsh follows her out at the 10th at 8.51AM with plenty to play for in London

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