Maguire frustrated after trouble on the ninth

A frustrated Leona Maguire was left to wonder what might have been after clipping the top of a tree on the ninth scuppered her promising start in the third round of the Women’s Individual Stroke Play.

The Ballyconnell star birdied her opening two holes, and also birdied the 7th and 8th to get to 8-under par and one shot outside the medal positions early on. However an uncharacteristic triple-bogey 7 on the ninth proved costly and, with just one more birdie on the back 9, she finished 1-under for her round and on 5-under total.

“I’m frustrated,” she said afterward. “I got off to a much better start and I felt like I made up a lot of ground early and then just threw it away on 9, pretty much. I didn’t feel like I hit all that bad of a shot, like I thought I hit the second shot real nice and it just clipped that tree…

“Things could have gone a lot differently if that ball had have just gone a little bit higher, a little bit lower but, that’s golf.”

Maguire shot a course record equalling final round 61 at the Evian Championship just two weeks ago, and feels something similar will be needed tomorrow if she is in with a shot.

“I think I’ve been playing the front 9 pretty well, I haven’t quite figured out the back 9 yet. Like I said, I need to hit more fairways, give myself chances, hole a few putts and try and do what I did last week at Evian I guess.”

Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire grew up playing amateur golf for Ireland together but have only played in the same pairing a handful of times as professionals. Today, they teed up alongside each other at an Olympic Games.

“I mean even for the both of us to be on the LPGA tour coming from a country that really had no one before, I think that’s pretty amazing,” Meadow reflected. “We’ve come a long way. She’s had a great year and hopefully I can build off this and have a good end of the season. I think we’ve done pretty well for ourselves, so I think she is as proud as I am.”