Cavan woman Leona Maguire shot six under yesterday in an impressive performance that saw her fall just two shots off her quest to win the Meijer LGPA Classic.
World number four Kelly Norda shot a victorious closing 67 to finish 25-under par to deny Leona Maguire writing her name into Irish sporting history books in what was a fascinating final day of golf. It was a gutsy and brave performance from Maguire who refused to throw in the towel and took the world number four all the way to the final hole.
Maguire impressively went toe-to-toe with one of the world’s top golfers in Kelly Norda, with the Irish woman bringing a stellar week’s golfing to a conclusion with a bogey-free 66 to finish on 23-under par.
Korda’s victory came as her second of the season, as she laid the foundations for her fifth career victory on Saturday evening with a fine 10-under par 62 finish.
.@leona_maguire uses every part of the cup
She's one off the lead in Michigan
Watch now on CBS! pic.twitter.com/SJp8gsi9zY
— LPGA (@LPGA) June 20, 2021
Maguire can take great pride and confidence in her performance throughout the week, with the 26 year old often making the challenging Blythefield Country Club look simple, especially on the greens where she putted perfectly at times.
Speaking following the ding-dong finish, Maguire said: "Nelly is one of the best players in the world and I went toe to toe with her pretty much all of today.
"This week is going to be huge heading into a major (next week's PGA Championship). I knew I was playing some great golf. It's a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season.
"I'm really starting to feel like I belong out here. Even though it's still my rookie year, I'm feeling more and more comfortable every week. My first time in the last group going into the final round, and really proud of how I managed that.
"All in all, my game is in really good shape and I feel like this was really good preparation heading into a major week."
Maguire has put herself in a fine position to make her Solheim Cup debut for Europe against the United States in August or September of this year as she won a cheque of $214,010 (€180,464) for her runners up finish.
Next up for the gifted Irish woman is Atlanta, Georgia for the next of this season’s five majors in the LGPA.
Maguire, who has now been projected from 20th to 13th on the updated tour of merit, can reflect on an exemplary week of golfing– a week in which she looked more an LGPA Tour veteran than that of a second year rookie.
Gave it everything I had today, what a great battle with @NellyKorda !! Thank you everyone for all the support, we’re getting closer every week ??? #onwardsandupwards pic.twitter.com/NCeTS2f6OO
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) June 20, 2021