Ireland’s Maguire rallies late to win LPGA Meijer title

Ireland’s Leona Maguire made an eagle and four birdies in the last six holes on Sunday to win the Meijer Classic for her second career LPGA title.

Maguire, a runner-up in the event each of the past two years, fired an eight-under-par 64 to finish on 21-under 267 for 72 holes at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Michigan.

“It was nice to go bogey-free on Sunday,’ Maguire said. “I tried to be patient. My goal was to get to 20-under and it was nice to go one even better than that.”

Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn was second on 269 after a closing 66 with China’s Lin Xiyu and South Korean Amy Yang sharing third on 270 and South Korean Kim Hyo-joo fifth on 272.

World number 20 Maguire, whose prior LPGA victory came at last year’s Drive On Championship in Florida, was third in last month’s LPGA Match-Play and shared seventh at the Americas Open two weeks ago, but also took lessons from her runner-up efforts previously to win this year.

“I feel like I’ve taken things from both years and I’ve been playing some really good golf coming into this week,” Maguire said. “You have to play really good golf to win out here. It’s tough.”

Maguire, 28, will try to claim her first major crown at next week’s Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol with the US Women’s Open in three weeks at Pebble Beach.

“I feel like my game has been in really good shape,” Maguire said. “(I’ll) just try more of the same I think, stay patient and give myself as many chances as I can.”

Maguire birdied 13 and eagled the par-5 14th to match Ariya and Lin for the lead at 18-under, but Yang eagled 14 and leaped into the lead at 19-under.

Lin, chasing her first LPGA title, made a third consecutive birdie at 14 to share the lead and Maguire birdied 16 to make it three at 19-under.

But Yang made double bogey at 16, sending her first two strokes into the left rough, and Lin — who said she was slowed by Covid-19 earlier this month — made bogey at 17 to stumble back while Maguire birdied 18 and 18 to finish with three birdies in a row and complete the fightback victory.

“I’m extremely proud of myself. I grinded all week,” Lin said. “I think I’ve done everything I could do. This is golf. I knew coming into today I needed a really low one to get the work done and unfortunately i couldn’t quite get it going at the beginning.

“But overall I stayed really patient and I executed everything really well. I know my time is coming but just need to be patient.”


© Agence France-Presse