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Steady start for Leona Maguire as women's golf competition gets underway

The Cavan golfer posted an even-par round of 71, with Stephanie Meadow one shot further back.

Leona Maguire in action in Tokyo.
Leona Maguire in action in Tokyo.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated Aug 4th 2021, 7:42 AM

IRELAND’S LEONA MAGUIRE posted an even-par 71 on the opening day of the women’s golf competition at the 2020 Olympics, leaving her in a tie for 23rd place and five shots from leader Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden. 

Maguire has been tipped as an outside medal prospect for Ireland given her outstanding form prior to arriving in Tokyo, shooting a stunning round of 61 at her most recent event, the Evian Championship, to tie for sixth. 

Amid stultifying, 35-degree heat at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, Maguire opened with a trio of pars before bogeying the par-three fourth.

She immediately clawed the shot back with a birdie on the par-five fifth, and closed out the rest of the front nine at even-par, prior to dropping a shot at 11. She then birdied a second par-five, the 14th, then limited the damage of bogey on 16 by birdieing 17. Maguire saved par with a 10-foot putt on the last.

“I felt I hung in well”, Maguire told RTÉ. “Made some good pars, got a couple of birdies in there. You can’t win it on the first day but you can lose it. My game has been in good shape, so it’s about doing it week-in-week-out.

“Just trying to be patient, I did that last week at Evian. That 61, I was patient all week and it finally broke for me on Sunday. So I am going in with the same mindset this week. 

Stephanie Meadow teed off a couple of hours after Maguire, and back-to-back birdies on holes 16 and 17 added considerable sheen to her score, signing for a one-over par 72. 

stephanie-meadow Stephanie Meadow. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Meadow was one-over on the front nine and then bogeyed 10 and 11 after the turn, but redeemed her round somewhat with those late birdies, to leave her in a tie for 36th place and six from leader Sagstrom.

Sagstrom is a shot clear of the USA’s Nelly Korda and Aditi Ashok of India, both of whom are tied for second on four-under. 

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As was the case for the men’s competition, medals will be handed out at the end of a traditional 72-hole, four-day strokeplay format.  

With inclement weather forecast for this weekend, organisers are considering bringing forward the third round, meaning golfers may play two rounds tomorrow. 

Meadow tees off for her second round at 12.52am Irish time tomorrow, with Maguire scheduled to start at 1.47am Irish time. 

Updated at 07.52 with details of Stephanie Meadow’s round  

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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