Maguire hits the front on Symetra Tour in South Dakota

Bernie McGuire

Leona Maguire finds herself at the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge at Willow Run Golf Course on the Symetra Tour, tied Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden).


The pair both recorded bogey-free, 5-under par 65 rounds and head into day two with a two-shot advantage over the 144 player field.


It’s been pretty windy in South Dakota and perhaps having spent a week back home in Ireland has helped Maguire gets to grips with the conditions and she commented; “The weather wasn’t too different to back home, it was quite windy and I did get to practice my wind shots, which I didn’t know I would use so quickly.”

“I was really happy with my round, feel like I have been close for a few weeks now and it just kind of clicked a little better. Also had some nice putts, which I have been struggling with lately. It was nice to see them drop today,” she added after recording her career-best score to par so far in her young professional career.

As for Strom, she is currently ranked 23rd in the Volvik Race for the Card and she said; “It was pretty windy out there the whole round, so I was trying to stay in the present and I think that is the most important thing to do. Some of the pin placements were tough out there. I just tried to stay focused and take it one shot at a time.”

Both players mentioned the conditions, which was a major factor when it came to scoring. Competitors battled steady winds of 12-17 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph. The leaders were also two of only 10 players from the morning wave that found themselves under par after day one. 

A group of four players went 3-under par in round one, while five individuals will enter day two at 2-under par so Maguire can’t rest on her laurels and needs another solid round today.

Ireland’s other representative in the field, Stephanie Meadow, had a more difficult day as she returned a three over par score and sits in T61st place after round one with plenty to do today to ensure making the cut.

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