Leona Maguire will need a drastic turnaround in fortunes if she is to make the cut at the AmazingCre Portland Classic on the LPGA Tour after a tough first round on the west coast.
The Cavan woman opened with eight straight pars to start her round before running into trouble, four bogeys and just a solitary birdie leading to a three-over 75 at The Oregon Golf Club.
That has her scrambling just to make it into the weekend, with the cut currently sitting at level-par and Maguire down outside the top-100 after failing to spark anything on day one.
The European Solheim Cup star’s putting was the main issue, taking 36 across her round despite hitting 15 greens in regulation, while her driving was solid for the most part, too, as she hit 12 of 14 fairways.
However, that didn’t translate on the scorecard and, starting not he back nine, it took her 17 holes to find a birdie – at the par-three eighth – but three bogeys in four holes around the turn and a closing five at the par-four ninth did the damage.
Maguire is already 10 shots adrift of leader Ayako Uehara, who claimed an early one-shot lead thanks to eight birdies and a bogey in a seven-under 65 to hold off Australia’s Hannah Green.
Uehara has missed most of the season due to a lung condition but was pleased to be competing on her return, saying: “This is my third tournament. I’m very excited about it and then glad to be out here.”
Former World No.1 Nelly Korda leads a group on five-under-par after a colourful card containing an eagle, seven birdies, two bogeys and a double, with Hinako Shibuno, Caroline Inglis and Ayaka Furue, also tied for third.
It was also a wild day for Hye-Jin Choi who had a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on her scorecard as she aced the par-three eighth but double-bogeyed the last for a two-under 70.
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