It’s been a great season for rookie Leona Maguire. With three top-10 finishes and a season-best T2 at the LOTTE Championship, a win would be the cherry atop a cake. After Thursday’s first round at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, MI, that goal seemed more achievable than ever, as Maguire sat atop of the leaderboard with co-leaders Nasa Hataoka and Charley Hull who each shot 7-under, 65.
What helped Maguire shoot so low was the familiarity of playing at courses in Ireland.
“It reminds me a lot of home, a lot of golf courses that I would've grew up playing at home. Tree-lined Elm Hermitage, Elm Park, ones I grew up playing during junior golf. I have an Irish caddie on the bag, and he said the same. It's nice when you have that familiar ID, even though it's a new place,” said Maguire. “Just sort of suited my eye quite well and tried to just build on that momentum I had last week in San Francisco.”
Last week at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in San Francisco Maguire finished T9 and flirted with the lead throughout the week.
“It was a pretty quick turnaround from last week. Felt like my game was in nice shape from there, and it was just a case of seeing the golf course the last few days and trying to rest up and start this week afresh and try and pick up where I left off,” Maguire said. “Really happy with my start and hopefully can get it going again tomorrow.”
After finishing with a stress-free first round where she felt “pretty consistent,” the 26-year-old mentioned her goals for the rest of the week including staying confident.
“It’s one of those things where there are a lot of birdie chances out there. You know everybody is going to go low. You can't really stop and look behind you very much. You just have to keep your foot down and keep going,” Maguire said. “Just getting more comfortable, I think. I've been in a few big groups the last few weeks especially. And I’m really happy with how I've managed that and sort of stuck to my own game plan as well.”