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Leona Maguire becomes first Irish golfer to win the prestigious Mark H. McCormack Medal

Cavan — and the world’s — best amateur golfer has been acknowledged.

Leona Maguire rounds off a great season with this award.
Leona Maguire rounds off a great season with this award.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

IRISH GOLFER LEONA Maguire has been named the winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading women’s golfer in the 2015 World Amateur Golf ranking.

Maguire, who hails from Cavan, is the first Irish golfer to pick up the award which comes at the end of an outstanding season.

The 20-year old has also made waves in the professional ranks and came close victory on the Ladies European Tour when she finished one shot behind the winner, Beth Allen, at last month’s ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club.

Maguire, who is getting set for her second year at Duke in the US, won three events this season — the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, the ACC Championship and the NCAA South Bend Regional.

In May, she received the 2015 ANNIKA Award and WGCA National Player of the Year as the best golfer in American women’s college golf.

Source: Golfweek Mag/YouTube

Maguire was the leading qualifier after the stroke play stage of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland, where she reached the last 16.

In June, she was part of the GB and Ireland team which lost to their continental European counterparts in the Vagliano Trophy at Malone Golf Club but was undefeated, securing 3.5 points out of four.

The R&A and United States Golf Association (USGA) award recognizes Maguire’s outstanding performances this year and is named after Mark H. McCormack, who founded sports marketing company IMG and was a great supporter of amateur golf.

“It’s a huge honor to win the Mark H. McCormack Medal,” said Maguire.

“To be able to call myself the best female amateur in the world is a nice feeling. In the last few years a lot of big names have won it and they have gone on to do great things in the game.

“It caps a fantastic year for me and it is rewarding after all the hard work I have put in and my family as well.”

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director at The R&A, said:

“I would like to congratulate Leona on her performances in what has been a tremendous season. To secure three victories in such a competitive environment as collegiate golf is a great achievement but to go on and come so close to winning a professional event is remarkable.

“Leona is a hugely talented golfer and an extremely worthy winner of the McCormack Medal.”

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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