"It's a bit surreal...it’s 17 years in the making,” said Leona Maguire, who became the first ever Irish winner on the LPGA Tour.
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) February 6, 2022
After four top-10 finishes and two runner-up places on the LPGA Tour, Cavan’s Leona Maguire secured her first ever title after a flawless performance at the Drive On Championship in Florida.
The 2021 Solheim Cup hero shot 66 in her opening round before going through Friday with a bogey-free round of 65. On Saturday, Maguire sealed victory at Fort Myers with a stunning round in blustery conditions to card 67. Maguire finished with a total of -18 in the 54-hole tournament, to take the title and a well deserved $225,000 winners cheque.
Competing in her second event of the season, Maguire said, "It's a bit surreal...it’s 17 years in the making. I’m just proud of how the whole week went, especially today. I have a lot of people to thank and it’s been a long road, but it’s probably more relief than anything else."
— LPGA (@LPGA) February 5, 2022
Maguire sealed her win with a final round which saw her shoot seven birdies, as she finished three shots clear of her nearest challenger Lexi Thompson. This included consecutive birdies on the 10th, 11th and 13th. Maguire is set to play in all tournaments in 2022 - including all five Majors.
The Cavan star has lit up the golfing scene in the last twelve months. Her history-making performance at the Solheim Cup in September 2021 made her the youngest rookie to never drop a point in the competition having played all five of her matches. Having started the year at 177th in world rankings, the Cavan star finished 2021 in 42nd, a true measure of her rapid rise and that world ranking is only set to continue to drop.
Last year, Maguire made her mark on the LPGA Tour with second place finishes at the Lotte Championship in April and the Meijir Classic in June. The year also brought with it her lowest round ever in a major tournament, (tied at 61) where she shot 10 birdies in a day at the Amundi Evian Championship in France.