Leona learns upcoming tour pairing
Impressive showing in Michigan last weekend moves Cavan golfer up to 17th place in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.
Cavan's Leona Maguire has been paired with American Ryann O’Toole and Danish golfer Nanna Koerstz Madsen in the First Round of the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, set to tee off on Thursday, June 23.
Leona, who tied for second following a dramatic play-off against winner Jennifer Kupcho in the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Michigan at the weekend, enters this week's championship in fine form.
It was the final tour stop before next week's major, the Women's PGA Championship, where Nelly Korda is the defending champion.
Maguire, who finished runner-up at the Meijer Classic last season, had come back from seven shots behind on the final day to close at 65 and finish 18 under, alongside Kupcho and fellow rival Nelly Korda. It was all the more impressive seeing as Leona had missed the cut the previous week, carding a score of 4+ at the ShopRite LPGA Classic after a second consecutive round of 73 at Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey.
Leona had defeated Kupcho in dominant style during that memorable Solheim Cup debut last year. However, it was Kupcho who held her nerve in Michigan to birdie at the last and in doing so register her second success on the LPGA Tour this season.
The 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be contested June 23-26 at Congressional Country Club’s newly restored Blue Course, and this year the prize purse has doubled to $9 million.
The field for the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship includes 99 of the top 100 players on the LPGA’s Official Money List, along with nine PGA/LPGA Club Professionals, who will measure their exceptional talents on a historic Major Championship stage.
Leona's impressive showing in Michigan moves her up to 17th place in the overall Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, her highest career position to date.
In addition to carding elite rounds last year, Leona has recorded career-best finishes in four of five majors in the past 12 months, including tying eighth in the US Women’s Open.
On Thursday she'll line out against 35-year-old O’Toole who has already carded two top-10 finishes this year – a T6 at the LOTTE Championship and a T5 at the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America – and has three additional top-15s, including a tie for 13th at The Chevron Championship, the year’s first major.
Madsen meanwhile became the first woman from Denmark to win on the LPGA Tour when claiming the Honda LPGA Thailand back in March.
In 2021, she finished in the top five in two majors, earning her first start in a Solheim Cup for Team Europe with fellow Rookie, Leona.