- Duke University photo
It was just last year Leona Maguire
became the first Irish player to compete in the Solheim Cup. On Saturday, the former Duke star made more history by becoming the first Irish player to win on the LPGA Tour as she captured the Drive-On Championship at Crown Colony Golf & Country Club in Fort Myers, Fla.
“It’s huge for Irish golf,” Maguire said after the tournament. “There was never an Irish player on the tour, let alone a winner. Hopefully, there is a lot of people watching at home tonight with big smiles on their faces and little girls watching knowing they can do that, too.”
For Maguire, her path to the LPGA winner's circle Maguire began in her hometown of Caven in Northern Island and continued to Durham, NC, where she rewrote the Duke and NCAA record books.
A two-time Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) and ANNIKA Award National Player of the Year at Duke, Maguire accumulated 10 wins, 24 top-five finishes, 35 top-10s and 39 top-20 finishes over her illustrious career. She set Duke records for most rounds at even or under par (87) and most rounds in the 60s (32).
She concluded her collegiate career as a four-time WGCA All-American, three-time ACC Player of the Year, three-time ACC Individual Champion and four-time All-ACC selection. She was only the second Blue Devil to earn three ACC individual titles, one of four Duke golfers to earn four first-team All-America accolades and was just the fourth Blue Devil to be named ACC Player of the Year three different times.
She finished her Duke career with a 70.97 stroke average, which was the lowest in NCAA history for a golfer that competed in more than 100 rounds.
Beyond Duke, Maguire broke the Women’s Amateur Golf Ranking mark of career weeks ranked No. 1 (135), won the 2017 Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship and competed in the 2016 Olympics, while tying for the low amateur. She was honored with the Mark H. McCormack Medal in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Maguire also earned the 2017 Global Golf Post Female Amateur of the Year in 2017.
Maguire earned AmateurGolf.com's Female POY in 2017 for second time
Maguire was named AmateurGolf.com's Female Player of the Year in 2017 for the second time after a season that saw her win the Northrup Grumman Challenge in Southern California, where she shared individual honors against one of college golf's strongest fields. In March, she scored a four-shot win at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, LA, leading Duke to the team title by 18 shots.
In April, Maguire led the Blue Devils to their 20th Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship in program history, and winning the individual title by two shots over Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest.
After finishing runner-up in the NCAA Championships in Illinois, Maguire was named the winner of the ANNIKA Award as the top player in NCAA Division I Women's Golf.
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 both the U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open, 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).
In September, Maguire won the Jim West Challenge in The Woodlands, TX 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.
In October, Maguire and Duke won the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invite on their rival's home course, with Maguire again edging out Olarra (who plays at the University of South Carolina) to win by a single shot.
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The Leona Maguire File
November 30, 1994 in Caven, Ireland
Declan and Breda Maguire
Sister Lisa and brother Odhran
2017 Ladies' British Open champion
World's top female amateur for record 135 weeks
Four-time WGCA First-Team All-America
Two-time WGCA & ANNIKA National Player of the Year
Three-time ACC Player of the Year
Three-time ACC individual champion
Four-time All-ACC selection
Two-time runner-up at NCAA Championships
Helped Duke to 14 wins in her career
Three-time Mark H. McCormack Medal winner
2017 AmateurGolf.com's Player of the Year
Leonamaguire.com contributed to this report