Leona Maguire finally triumphs at the Meijer LPGA classic

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give - Final Round
Leona Maguire holding her winner's trophy at the 2023 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (Image via Getty).

Irish golfer Leona Maguire won Sunday's Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, played at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Florida.

Maguire was among the leaders throughout the event, but it was in the fourth and decisive round where she put in the extra and clinched the victory. She had a bogey-free fourth day and also had six birdies and an eagle to capitalize on the best fourth round of all.

The tournament was immensely competitive, so much so that Maguire did not clinch the title until the 17th hole. She had to string together three birdies in a row to put her competition behind her.

The Irishwoman had a very steady tournament, making 22 birdies and two eagles against only five bogeys. She based her game on the strength of her long swing, with a driving average of 258 yards, and driving accuracy, reaching the fairway on 43 of 52 shots throughout the tournament.

Second place was taken by Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, who was two strokes behind Leona Maguire.

Jutanugarn also performed at a high level throughout the tournament. She went into the fourth round tied with Maguire (-13) for second place and even carded seven birdies to keep the pressure on all the eligible golfers.

However, a bogey by the Thai on the 12th hole combined with the Irishwoman's eagle on the 14th eventually defined the first and second places.

Third place was taken by China's Xiyu Lin and South Korea's Amy Yang. The Chinese started the round in first place (-12), but a bogey on hole 1 tied her with Maguire and Jutanugarn.

Lin stayed in contention until the end. Only her second and final bogey of the day (on the 17th hole) took her out of contention for first place, which she held until the second half of the back nine.

For her part, Yang had a formidable fourth round with a great back nine. Her eagle on the 14th hole even put her in first place (tied with Lin at the time), but her double bogey on the 16th hole got her back in the group chasing the leader.

After that, she was simply unable to recover.

Leona Maguire at the 2023 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (Image via Getty).
Leona Maguire at the 2023 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (Image via Getty).

Leona Maguire on the LPGA Tour

Leona Maguire, 28, turned professional in 2018. She has been participating in LPGA Tour tournaments since 2012, but officially joined the tour in 2020.

The victory achieved this Sunday is the second for Leona Maguire on the LPGA Tour. She had previously triumphed at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony.

The 2023 win was her third appearance at the Meijer LPGA Classic, where she had finished runner up twice. In 2021, she lost to Nelly Korda, while in 2022 she lost in a play-off to Jenniffer Kupcho.

Maguire held the record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the world amateur rankings (135) until it was broken in 2023 by Rose Zhang. She is currently ranked number 20 in the world list of professional female golfers.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman