Wednesday, December 1

Leona Maguire credits her ‘plan’ after leading Europe to victory in the Solheim Cup | Solheim Cup


IIt wasn’t exactly Tiger Woods’ “Hello World” in 1996. Nonetheless, Trans World Sport article on 13-year-old twins in rural Ireland taking the “world of youth golf by storm” at least hinted at greater things to come. Now 26, Leona Maguire’s rise to the top has been steady rather than sharp; and completely by design.

Maguire was easily the star of the show as Europe retained the Solheim Cup in Toledo, Ohio. Four and a half points out of a possible five made this one of the best team golf debuts ever. “She is the one we are going to have to fear for a long time,” acknowledged United States captain Pat Hurst.

When Maguire joined the celebrations on the 18th green at the Inverness Club, draped in an Irish flag (she is the first from that country to play a Solheim Cup), it was fitting that Sister Lisa was by her side. “Now everyone knows how amazing you are,” Lisa tweeted. They do it too well.

“I don’t think you could have dreamed of something like this,” said Leona Maguire, who was chosen by the captain. “It has been a very special week. We were definitely the underdog. Getting the victory is very, very special.

“I wasn’t just coming here to participate. I wanted to do something, I was here for a reason. Catriona [Matthew] and the vice captains trusted me a lot, using me in all five games and I wanted to win as many points as I could. It has been amazing. ”

Maguire smiles when pointed out that this rather raises the question of why he didn’t join the party earlier. She has heard it all before. Rather than turning pro at a young age, the County Cavan player completed her degree at Duke University in North Carolina. Not that the books got in the way of his golf; She was the world’s top-ranked female amateur for a staggering, record-breaking 135 weeks.

“I had a plan,” Maguire explained. “My team around me had a plan. It was always important to me to get my education. I had a fantastic four years at Duke. I have no doubt that I would not be where I am now without the decisions I have made. Everything has been done meticulously, I have worked on all levels, I have checked all the boxes and I think I went up another level this week. I stood my ground, did everything I could and it’s good to be in this position now. “

Maguire doesn’t seem to have looked enviously at other younger people and, frankly, less talented riches gained at a much younger age. “I will not be any different after this,” he added. “I will continue with the plan I have. It has worked quite well so far. I think I showed that I can compete with the best players in the world ”.

Maguire, number 43 in the world, credits Dermot Byrne, a highly qualified caddy who previously enjoyed success with Shane Lowry, a “phenomenal” influence. “I am very lucky to have him by my side,” he said. There was also a pre-Solheim guide from 2014 Irish Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.

“It just emphasized the importance of being me,” Maguire said. “Be ruthless, show no mercy and do what I do best. I felt like I did a good job with all of that. “

In fact, Maguire’s performance included two quartet wins against world number one Nelly Korda. The result of the first day in particular was significant; Korda and his sister, Jessica, had won both of their matches at the 2019 Solheim Cup.

“That gave us a huge boost,” Maguire said. “It was huge to take down the Korda sisters. There wasn’t a single easy game this week, everyone played golf so well. We won the trophy, but women’s golf won this week. I think it has been a fantastic showcase of how good these girls are and this is week after week. It was great that everyone could see it.

“I am competitive, I do not like to lose. Match play is perfect for that, I gave absolutely everything every time I played there. It’s very satisfying to make a putt when there are people cheering for you. I was lucky to have two great partners in Mel [Reid] and georgia [Hall] Also, it wasn’t just me. You couldn’t have written it better. “

The public chapter may have started at 1 p.m., but you have the inevitable feeling that there is still much, more to come.


www.theguardian.com

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