It’s been a storming start to life in the professional ranks for Ireland’s Leona Maguire.
Since shedding her amateur status earlier this month along with sister Lisa, Maguire has competed twice, on the main LPGA Tour and the USA’s second tier Symetra Tour.
Maguire, considered one of the women’s games’ greatest amateurs, finished 15th in her debut event at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, ahead of the likes of British Open champion I.K. Kim, Lydia Ko, Anna Nordqvist and Shanshan Feng.
She qualified for the event on a sponsor’s exemption, a limited outlet which means that she will do much of her playing this season on the development Symetra Tour.
— Symetra Tour (@ROAD2LPGA) June 15, 2018
In the Cavan woman’s first professional appearance on the Symetra Tour last week at The Forsyth Classic, she finished tied for third place with rounds of 69-68-69 for a -10 total, just three shots off the lead of winner Isi Gabsa of Germany. Along the way, Maguire sensationally carded a hole-in-one on the 17th hole during her second round.
🚨 HOLE-IN-ONE ALERT 🚨 @leona_maguire records an ace on the par-3 17th from 149 yards with a 7-iron. She finished at 4-under par today and enters the final round at 7-under! #ForsythClassic #Road2LPGA pic.twitter.com/4uARNamSgt
— Symetra Tour (@ROAD2LPGA) June 16, 2018
— pumagolf (@PUMAGolf) June 18, 2018
Enjoyed my first week out on the @ROAD2LPGA tour. Thankyou to all the sponsors involved in putting on a great event. A hole in one and a tied 3rd finish will make it one to remember. Next stop Michigan! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/IEjZ6iC3Gf
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) June 17, 2018
Stephanie Meadow of Northern Ireland finished tied for 7th. Along with Meadow, Maguire is in action again this week at the Island Resort Championship in Michigan, a 54 hole event starting on Friday.
The top ten at the end of the season earn an LPGA Tour card, and Maguire is currently 51st after just one event. Including the ShopRite LPGA Classic result, the 23-year-old has climbed 200 places in the world rankings in a matter of weeks, from 614th to 414th.