Leona Maguire sealed her first professional win last night, through a sudden death play-off in the Windsor Golf Classic in California.
Maguire who started the final round three shots off the lead, battled the Windsor Golf course, firing a bogey-free 7-under par 65, in the final round, to leave her top of the leaderboard at the end of regulation.
The Cavan golfer was in sublime form and made a sensational start as she notched four straight birdies in a row, from holes four through to seven. She followed this up with two more birdies on the back-nine and didn’t drop a shot as she led the group coming into the clubhouse.
A birdie on the 18th hole from Thailand’s Pajaree Anannarukarn meant the scores were tied at 12-under-par and this forced proceedings into a sudden-death play-off. Maguire held her nerve to edge past Anannarukarn as she won the hole with a birdie, to pick up her first professional title.
What a feeling!! Absolutely delighted to get my first professional win @ROAD2LPGA ???
Thank you everyone for all the lovely messages. Couldn't have done it without all the help from my family, friends, @modestgolf team, @SOGGolf, sponsors and caddie John #patience pic.twitter.com/yeV15Ac6sO
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) April 8, 2019
Victory see’s Maguire improve on a fifth and fourth place finish in her last two tournaments. Last week the former Amateur world number 1 led the field at the IOA Championship in California, heading into the final round. Unfortunately she came unstuck in difficult conditions but her performance left a lot of on-lookers certain that Maguire would go on to win her first title as a professional sooner rather than later, and that is exactly happened at the Windsor Golf Classic.
The Cavan golfer who carries serious pedigree at amateur level, turned professional in June of last year. Maguire holds the all-time record for most weeks spent as number 1 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, amassing an incredible 135 weeks. This was only her 17th start on the Symetra Tour which is an ominous sign for the rest of the field.
Maguire spoke of her mind-set heading into the final round.
"I’ve been so close for the past few weeks and started off really well today, tried to keep my foot down,” said Maguire, who was the IOA Championship 36-hole leader and finished tied for fourth. “I suppose being so close last week gave me a little bit of extra motivation and it tastes a little sweeter today.”
The top ten golfers on the Symetra Tour will guarantee a card for next seasons Ladies European Tour and victory see’s Maguire climb the rankings from 7th to 1st. Her latest win has also strengthened her position in the qualifying points table for next year’s Olympic Games in Japan.
Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the fifth annual Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Ark. from April 26-28:
1. Leona Maguire - $36,510
2. Julieta Granada (Asuncion, Paraguay) - $33,737
3. Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio) - $28,436
4. Lauren Coughlin (Charlottesville, Virginia) - $23,000
5. Demi Runas (Torrance, California) - $19,835
6. Kelly Tan (Batu Pahat, Malaysia)- $18,750
7. Kyung Kim (Chandler, Arizona) - $16,265
8. Karen Chung (Livingston, New Jersey) - $15,976
9. Pajaree Anannarukarn - $15,042
10. Jean Reynolds (Newnan, Georgia) - $12,778