Leona Maguire kept up her good run of form as she took to the course for the first round of the IOA Championship in Beaumont, California.
Last year Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow took the IOA title and with it the impetus to go on and claim an automatic LPGA card for 2019 and Maguire will no doubt have that same thought in the back of her mind as she heads to the second round, just two shots off the lead.
Maguire was quick out of the blocks with four birdies in her first five holes before she added another at the ninth to make the turn at five-under for the tournament. Bogeys at 10, 12 and 13 with a bounce-back birdie at 11 knocked her back a little but another birdie at 15 saw her return in one-over for a round of 68, four-under for the day and in a tie for sixth place.
At the top of the leaderboard, 23-year old August Kim from St. Augustine Florida holds a slender one shot lead after she carded an opening 66 for a six-under par total and she has good form on the Symetra Tour having made the cut in 19-of-32 starts since her rookie year on the Symetra Tour in 2017 including five top-10 finishes and a career-best solo second result at the 2017 Donald Ross Classic. She has also finished each of her two seasons in the top-30 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
Kim is closely followed, just one shot adrift, by a chasing pack which. includes Harang Lee, Luna Sobron, Katja Pogacar and Laetitia Beck.