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Wait for first pro win continues as Maguire finishes two shots behind in California

The Cavan golfer slipped up on the final day at the IOA Championship.

The wait goes on: Leona Maguire.
The wait goes on: Leona Maguire.
Image: Ladies European Tour.

CAVAN’S LEONA MAGUIRE has just missed out on her first professional win at the IOA Championship in California — but completed back-to-back top-five finishes.

Maguire took a one shot lead into the final day of the tournament on the Symetra Tour after carding a brilliant bogey-free three-under 69 on day two to capitalise on her opening 68.

But she failed to build on that super position and prevail to her first pro win, faltering through a difficult round of 77. A disastrous front nine which included four bogeys and a double-bogey set the tone, but in the end, she finished just two shots behind the winner.

USA’s Jillian Hollis recorded a one-shot victory after a four-over final round of 74, Maguire had to settle for a share for fourth.

“I played well and think some of those pins on the front nine greens were a bit ridiculous,” Maguire said afterwards as quoted by irishgolfer.ie.  

“There was just no way to stop the ball. I played as well as I could, my pace putting probably wasn’t great on the front nine and that kind of killed me but I hung in there on the back nine and tried to finish as strong as I could.”

Another top-five finish means her bright start to life as a pro continues, and this comes as her highest placing to date (44th, 20th, 14th, 25th, 5th, 4th).

The 24-year-old is motoring along nicely, and has well and truly found her feet on the world’s biggest stages since making the leap with her twin sister Lisa last May.

Elsewhere, Stepanie Meadow — who won that Symetra tour event last year — signed off from the KIA Classic with a round of 74 to finish on one-under as Japan’s Nasa Hataoka ran out comfortable winner.

You can see the final leaderboard from the IOA Championship here.

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Emma Duffy

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