Ireland’s Leona Maguire returns to Toledo, Ohio where she broke out at last year’s Solheim Cup, going 5-0-0 to solidify her place as one of golf’s newest superstars. Since then, she has captured her first LPGA Tour victory, winning earlier this season at the LPGA Drive On Championship, and though there are three rounds left to play, Maguire is in good shape thus far as she eyes a second title. The 27-year-old shot a bogey-free, 5-under 66, hitting nine of 14 fairways and 10 of 18 greens and needing only 23 putts to make her way around Highland Meadows Golf Club on Thursday.
“It's always nice to come back to somewhere that you know you have good memories. I've signed a few Solheim pin flags and balls this week, which is nice,” said Maguire. “Played really solid. Gave myself lots of chances and had a nice birdie on 13 to sort of get it going and then 18 to make the turn. Kind of built on that momentum then and had a couple in a row, on 3, 4, and putted nicely. Gave myself lots of chances. Any time you go bogey-free, it's a bit nicer of a day.”
This is Maguire’s third appearance in the Dana Open presented by Marathon. In 2017 when she was the No. 1 ranked female player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Maguire teed it up in Toledo on a sponsors invite, carding a pair of even-par 71s to miss the cut by one, and last year, she shot three rounds in the 60s to finish in a tie for 15th after the event was shortened to 54 holes due to inclement weather. It’s the first time we’ve seen Maguire competing in the United States since the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in July and the Irishwoman seems refreshed after a few much-needed weeks at home. She played well during the European swing, finishing in a tie for fourth at the AIG Women’s Open and solo tenth at the ISPS Handa World Invitational, and that trend is continuing in Ohio, even with new equipment in the bag.
“I actually have a new set of irons in the bag this week, so, so far so good. It's not like me to change. I've been home for a couple of weeks, did some testing while I was home. The new Ping 230s are in the bag,” Maguire said. “It was probably the most time I've spent at home in quite a while. My whole family was home. Mom and Dad and Lisa got to go to the British and my brother came to the event in Northern Ireland, so it was one of the first times in a long time that the whole family was able to come watch me and then actually spend some time at home.”