In the penultimate event of the LPGA Tour season, Leona Maguire displayed remarkable steadiness with a bogey-free three-under-par 67 in The Annika by Gainbridge at Pelican in Bellaire, Florida.
Following her involvement in Europe’s Solheim Cup success in September, Maguire meticulously scheduled her late-season tournaments. Participating in only one of the LPGA Tour’s four-week Asian Swing, the world number 19 arrived at The Annika – hosted by Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam – feeling rejuvenated and prepared, both mentally and physically.
Leona Maguire cards bogey-free 67 in first round of penultimate event of the LPGA Tour season https://t.co/5DiMnpIYue
— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) November 9, 2023
While Jin Young Ko and Patty Tavatanakit led the field by signing off with 63s, Maguire showcased efficiency in her play during this final regular tournament before next week’s big-money CME Group Tour Championship. As the tournament admits only the top 60 players on the merit order, Maguire, currently holding the 18th position, secured her place, aiming to improve her standings with a strong performance in Bellaire.
Starting her round on the 10th, Maguire secured birdies at the 16th, first, and sixth holes, culminating in a commendable 67. She shares this position with two-time defending champion Nellie Korda, positioning herself well for the remaining three rounds of the $3.25 million tournament.
Leona Maguire shot a three-under 67 on day one of the LPGA's THE ANNIKA Presented by Gainbridge at Pelican Golf Club in Florida, while Stephanie Meadow opened with a level-par 70.https://t.co/PyAjnj2kc5
— Irish Golfer (@IrishGolferMag) November 10, 2023
Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow also opened strongly, reaching two-under by the turn. Unfortunately, a few setbacks, including a double-bogey on her final hole, led her to sign off for a level par 70.
Heading into the event in the 69th position in the merit order, Meadow aims for a strong finish to secure her spot in the forthcoming Tour Championship.