Leona Maguire becomes first Irishwoman to win LPGA Tour title
Leona Maguire, a 27-year-old Irishwoman, nabbed her first LPGA Tour title on Saturday at the LPGA Drive On Championship in Fort Myers, Fla., signing for a final-round 67.
Her 54-hole total of 18 under par (66-65-67) was three shots clear of her closest competitor, Lexi Thompson, who was 15 under par after closing with a 65.
“It’s a bit surreal. It’s been 17 years in the making and you kinda wonder if it’s ever gonna happen,” Maguire told the LPGA’s Amy Rogers after her round. “Just really proud of how I played all week, especially today.”
It may have felt like a long time coming for Maguire, but her competitive career has been steadily ascendant dating back to her days as an amateur.
Maguire played her collegiate golf at Duke University, and still holds the all-time record for weeks at No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings with a whopping 135. She’s participated in two Olympic Games for Ireland, and last year, became the first Irishwoman to play in a Solheim Cup, breaking the all-time rookie points record with a total of 4.5.
Now, she’s made history once again, as the first Irishwoman to win an LPGA Tour event.
“It’s huge for Irish golf,” she said. “There was never an Irish player on Tour, let alone a winner. Hopefully there’s a lot of people watching at home tonight with big smiles on their faces.”