SOUTH WALES – Leona Maguire, a Duke University rising senior, continued her stellar play on the week at the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship as she downed two opponents in match play to move on to the semifinals, which are being played at the Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club in South Wales.
A native of Cavan, Ireland, Maguire will next face Anna Backman of Finland Saturday morning for the chance to advance to the finals.
Maguire made quick work of her round of 16 opponent, Beatrice Wallin, as she cruised to a 7&6 victory. The two-time ANNIKA and WGCA National Player of the Year won the first two holes against Wallin and then won holes five and seven to go 5-up through seven holes. Maguire drained a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 8 to go 6-up. Another birdie by Maguire on No. 11 put the 2015 and 2017 ACC Champion ahead 7-up.
In dramatic fashion, Maguire was able to close the match by chipping in from 40 feet on No. 12 winning 7&6.
Maguire was paired against Paula Grant of Lisburn, who was the individual medalist over the 36 holes of stroke play. After the first hole, Maguire led 1-up where the match stayed until the fifth hole. Maguire was able to hit her second shot on the par five fifth on the green in two and then sank her birdie to go 2-up. Grant registered a birdie on No. 6 to cut the lead to 1-up for Maguire, but the Duke standout came back to win No. 9 to make the turn, 2-up.
After finding the bunker greenside on No. 13, Maguire dropped the hole and led 1-up with five holes remaining. She went back ahead 2-up after Grant three-putted on No. 14. Maguire collected another birdie on No. 15 as she sank a 10-foot putt and moved the match to dormie.
Maguire was able to close the contest on No. 16 to topple Grant, 4&2.
Also advancing to the semifinals was Ainhoa Olarra and Stina Resen. Maguire is looking to join Duke alumna Celine Boutier as winners of the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship as she won the event in 2015.
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