WINDSOR, Calif. — With a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, Duke University women’s golf 2018 graduate Leona Maguire collected her first professional title at the Windsor Golf Classic Sunday evening on the Symetra Tour.
“I’ve been so close for the past few weeks and started off really well today, tried to keep my foot down,” said Maguire, who was the IOA Championship 36-hole leader and finished tied for fourth. “I suppose being so close last week gave me a little bit of extra motivation and it tastes a little sweeter today.”
Maguire, a rookie on the Symetra Tour, carded a bogey-free, seven-under-par, 65, Sunday in the final round on her way to moving up the leaderboard. She concluded the 54 holes of action with rounds of 70, 69 and 65 for a 12-under-par, 204. Maguire was the leader in the clubhouse, before Pajaree Anannarukarn birded No. 18 to finish in a tie with Maguire at 12-under.
Heading into the playoff on the par five 18th, Maguire went on to sink a 15-foot birdie putt to win the title.
“I knew the way the course was setup today, the greens a bit softer and I left a lot of chances out there yesterday,” said Maguire, who trailed by three shots entering the final round. “Chipped in on the first for birdie which kickstarted by round, then holed a few nice putts to keep the momentum going. The way the greens and pins were I knew I had to go low to catch Pajaree, everyone was going to make birdies.”
On the front nine, Maguire birdied the first hole and then went on to birdie four straight from holes No. 4-7 to make her charge up the leaderboard.
Maguire, who hails from Cavan, Ireland, received a winner’s check of $22,500 on her way to jumping into the No. 1 slot in the Volvik Race for the Card with $36,510 in total season earnings. So far on the season, Maguire has played in four events and made all four cuts.
“I’ve been a bit more patient this year,” added Maguire. “I think I was too eager to try and rush things too quick last year, trying to play catch-up too much, didn’t give myself enough rest. This year has been nice, working my way into the season with some really good finishes and trying to get better every week. I knew I would get there eventually, took a little longer than I would have liked but it’s a great feeling.”
At Duke, Maguire was a two-time National Player of the Year selection, four-time All-America and won a total of 10 times with the Blue Devils. Her 70.97 stroke average and 87 rounds of even or under par are the second best in NCAA Division I history.
Laetitia Beck, a 2014 Blue Devil graduate, turned in rounds of 69, 72 and 66 to finish at nine-under-par, 207, on her way to finishing tied for sixth over the weekend as well.