Leona Maguire has her sights set on clinching her first Major title at the highly anticipated KPMG Women's PGA Championship, following her sensational victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic. Displaying remarkable skill and composure, Maguire staged a thrilling comeback on the final day in Michigan, erasing a two-shot deficit and with an outstanding bogey-free 64 to secure her second LPGA Tour victory in consecutive seasons.
Victory holds profound significance for Maguire, as she had come agonizingly close to winning the same event in the previous two years, finishing as the runner-up on both occasions. The near misses in 2021 and 2022, losing in a playoff and falling two shots behind Nelly Korda, served as motivation for Maguire, making her recent victory even sweeter.
— LPGA (@LPGA) June 20, 2023
Maguire's recent performances have been nothing short of impressive, with a notable semifinal appearance at the Bank of Home LPGA Match Play and a commendable tied-seventh finish at the Mizuho Americas Open. This strong form has bolstered her confidence as she approaches the second women's major of the year - which takes place this week.
Reflecting on her recent success, Maguire humbly acknowledged the support she received and the expectations placed upon her. She commented, "A lot of people this week were saying you're due one, this course owes you something, all the rest. But I suppose that's not golf. Golf usually doesn't work like that. But nice that it all worked out well for me this week."
The upcoming KPMG Women's PGA Championship, hosted at Baltusrol, presents an exciting challenge for Maguire and her fellow competitors. Renowned as a formidable and prestigious golf course, Baltusrol is set to host the championship for the first time since 1985. Maguire has already familiarized herself with the course and anticipates a demanding test, particularly with the fast and firm greens. She emphasizes the importance of rest and recovery after her recent victory, ensuring she arrives in prime form for the championship.
A victory at the Women's PGA Championship would be historic for Maguire, as she aims to become Ireland's first female major champion. She draws inspiration from the achievements of Irish golfing legends like Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington, who have left an indelible mark on the sport. Maguire expresses gratitude to Harrington for sharing valuable advice and techniques, particularly in her short game. Being part of a close-knit community of Irish golfers, including Shane Lowry and Paul McGinley, provides Maguire with a support network and adds to the pride and enthusiasm of her fellow countrymen.
Maguire's scintillating performance at the Meijer LPGA Classic, where she carded a remarkable eight-under-par 64, showcased her ability to excel under pressure and finish strongly. The final six holes were particularly remarkable, as Maguire recorded four birdies and an eagle, culminating in a final score of 21-under and a comfortable two-shot victory over Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn. This display of resilience and composure solidified Maguire's status as one of the elite players on the LPGA Tour.
We take a look at @leona_maguire’s second career victory on the @LPGA!
She only missed one green on Sunday and tied the lowest final round by a champion this season. #KPMGInsights pic.twitter.com/FXzhlrSldg
— KPMG Golf (@KPMGGolf) June 18, 2023
With the momentum of her recent success, Maguire enters the Women's PGA Championship as a top contender. Her confidence in her game remains unwavering, as she aims to maintain her patient approach and create as many scoring opportunities as possible.
In addition to Maguire's victory, it's worth acknowledging the impressive performances of Stephanie Meadow, who finished tied for 13th, and Olivia Mehaffey, who secured a commendable tied-12th position at the German Masters on the Ladies European Tour. These achievements further exemplify the strength of Irish golfers on the global stage.
As the anticipation builds for the Women's PGA Championship, all eyes will be on Leona Maguire, as she seeks to etch her name in golfing history by securing her maiden major title.