DURHAM, N.C. – For the second time over the last three years, Duke University’s Leona Maguire has been tabbed AmateurGolf.com Women’s Player of the Year as announced Wednesday.
The AmateurGolf.com Women's Player of the Year is awarded based on a point system earned through performance in major women's amateur events throughout the course of the year. The senior who hails from Cavan, Ireland, won a tight race over Hye-Jin Choi of Korea.
Maguire kicked off 2017 by registering her first win of the year in February at the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., sharing individual honors against one of college golf's strongest fields with rounds of 68, 71 and 70 for a four-under-par, 209.
Next month, Maguire posted a four-shot win at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, La., leading Duke to the team title by 18 shots. Maguire turned in an impressive 10-under-par ledger with rounds of 67, 68 and 71.
Maguire helped lead the Blue Devils to their 20th Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship in program history in April, and winning the individual title by two shots over Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest, who finished third in the player of the year standings.
After finishing runner-up in the NCAA Championship in Sugar Grove, Ill., and posting the second-lowest stroke average in NCAA history, Maguire was named the winner of the ANNIKA Award as the top player in NCAA Division I Women's Golf as well as the WGCA National Player of the Year.
The highlight of 2017 for Maguire was winning the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship in Wales, edging Spain's Ainhoa Olarra in the final match for the biggest amateur win of her career.
After competing in the U.S. Women's Open, the Women's British Open and Vagliano Trophy, Maguire won the Mark H. McCormack Medal for the third consecutive year as the leading women’s player in the 2017 World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
To kick off the 2017-18 collegiate season in September, Maguire won the Jim West Challenge in The Woodlands, Texas by three shots over Maddie Szeryk of Texas A&M, setting the tournament scoring record and leading Duke to a team title, a tournament scoring record, and the lowest 54-hole score in team history.
Maguire and the Blue Devils won the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational on their rival's home course, with Maguire again edging out Olarra of South Carolina to win by a single shot.
Maguire advanced through the second stage of LPGA Tour Qualifying School, earning playing privileges on the Symetra Tour, but decided against competing in the third stage in order to finish the 2017-18 collegiate season and graduate in May from Duke.
A nine-time tournament champion at Duke, Maguire also won the AmateurGolf.com Player of the Year in 2015. That year she recorded four college wins, was runner-up in the NCAA Championship, and finished second in the Ladies European Masters, a professional event on the Ladies European Tour.
Maguire joins Lydia Ko, Danielle Kang and Stacy Lewis as two-time winners of the award. Former Duke standout Amanda Blumenherst also won the award in 2008.
Duke will return to action Feb. 11-13 at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif.