Leona Maguire becomes first Irish winner on Ladies European Tour

Leona Maguire
Europe’s Leona Maguire celebrates chipping in for birdie on the 18th hole on day one of the 2023 Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin (John Walton/PA)

Leona Maguire became the first Irish golfer to win at the Ladies European Tour with a one-shot victory at the Aramco Team Series in Hemel Hempstead, thanks to an eagle on the 18th hole.

The Cavan golfer had been in front throughout the tournament and held a slender two-shot lead entering the final day’s play at the Centurion Club.

She endured a difficult final round and needed a birdie on the last to force a playoff, but made an incredible approach shot on the par-five closing hole before making the putt for an eagle.

Maguire trailed Maria Hernandez of Spain, who posted a seven-under par score by a shot going down the last, but Maguire finished remarkably on the fairway before sinking her putt.

She was the overnight leader after rounds one and two of the 54-hole tournament and birdied both her first and second holes on Friday to reach 10 under.

A double bogey on the seventh, however, was part of a run that saw her drop four shots in five holes.

Two-over-par for her round after a bogey on the 16th, she fell behind Hernandez who shot a bogey-free 68 to set the clubhouse lead at seven under.

But, set up by that fantastic second shot on the 18th, Maguire holed an eight-footer to get back to eight under and snatch the win.

It’s the 29-year-olds fifth triumph as a professional having previously won twice on the LPGA Tour and the Symetra Tour.