SOUTH WALES – After a very impressive run through match play, Duke University rising senior Leona Maguire registered a 3&2 victory over Ainhoa Olarra to win the 114th Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship Saturday at the Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club in South Wales.
With the victory, Maguire became the second Blue Devil over the last three years to win the title as Celine Boutier won the championship in 2015. Maguire earned spots in the U.S. Women's Open and August's Ricoh Women's British Open with the title. It proved to be the biggest amateur victory of Maguire's outstanding career.
“It was a great match all day,” commented Maguire. “I knew that Ainhoa was going to push me to the very end and she did that with some birdies down the stretch, especially with that putt she holed on 15. We played some great golf today and it's just nice to come out with a win at the end.”
“This is definitely one that I wanted to check off my list before I turn pro so yeah it's nice to have this,” said Maguire. “There are some great names on that trophy and it's great to be joining them.”
Maguire, who hails from Cavan, Ireland, opened the day with a birdie on No. 1 to go ahead 1-up, but Olarra responded by winning the second hole. Another win on No. 3 for Olarra and Maguire was 1-down through three holes and faced her first deficit of match play. With her second birdie of the day on No. 5, Maguire went back ahead 1-up and then drains a 10-foot par putt on No. 7 to go ahead, 2-up. She would make the turn, 3-up, after winning the ninth hole.
Olarra won the 10th hole, but Maguire came right back to win the 11th to maintain a 3-up advantage. Maguire went 4-up through 12 holes, but Olarra won the 13th to cut the lead to 3-up. After Olarra won another on 15, Maguire was 2-up with three holes remaining.
Maguire would close it out on the 16th with a two-putt par as Olarra missed a four-footer for par.
In the semifinal match Saturday morning, Maguire took down Anna Backman 3&2 to advance to the finals.