An impressive day of golf on British soil Saurday earned Duke’s Leona Maguire of Ireland the biggest win of her amateur career and a busier summer schedule.
Maguire posted two match play victories, including a 3 and 2 win over Ainhoa Olarra to win the 114th Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship at the Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club in South Wales.
A rising senior for the Blue Devils, Maguire earned spots in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s British Open tournaments with the win. She’s the second Duke golfer to win the British Open Am in the last three years, joining 2015 champion Celine Boutier.
“This is definitely one that I wanted to check off my list before I turn pro so yeah it’s nice to have this,” Maguire said. “There are some great names on that trophy and it’s great to be joining them.”
Maguire, from Cavan, Ireland, reached the final with a 3 and 2 semifinal win over Anna Backman earlier on Saturday.
Against Olarra, birdied hole No. 1 to immediately jump on top. But Olarra won the next two holes to go 1-up. Maguire, though, won the next two holes, including a birdie on No. 5, to jump back into the lead. She carried a 3-up lead into the back nine.
She maintained that 3-up lead until Olarra won No. 15 to cut Maguire’s lead to 2-up.
The match ended at No. 16. Though Maguire needed two putts to score a par, Olarra missed a four-foot par putt to give Maguire a three hole lead with two to play.
“It was a great match all day,” Maguire said. “I knew that Ainhoa was going to push me to the very end and she did that with some birdies down the stretch, especially with that putt she holed on 15. We played some great golf today and it’s just nice to come out with a win at the end.”