Leona Maguire Becomes First Irishwoman to Win LPGA Title

Leona Maguire Wins LPGA Drive On Championship
Leona Maguire imitates a “selfie” as she poses with the trophy after winning the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony Golf & CC on Feb 5, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice via Getty Images)

Leona Maguire shot a final-round 67 at the LPGA Drive On Championship, and cruised into the winner’s circle on 18 under par, becoming the first Irishwoman to hoist an LPGA trophy.

“Hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s a bit surreal. It’s been a long time coming and I suppose you don’t know it’s going to happen until it actually does,” said Maguire.

“Tried to just stay really patient today. Didn’t get ahead of myself. Wanted to go out and just shoot a number. Didn’t want anybody to have to hand it to me. I wanted to go out and win it myself and earn it. Yeah, just really proud of the way I played today.”

Heading into the final day tied for the lead with Marina Alex, Maguire said she didn’t look at leaderboards until the fairway on No. 18 and didn’t know how the results were beginning to net out.

Leona Maguire Wins LPGA Drive On Championship
View of the leaderboard as Leona Maguire lines up a putt on the 16th green during the final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony Golf & CC on Feb 5, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice via Getty Images)

“I think the birdie on 7 was huge,” said Maguire. “Brittany [Altomare] had gone on that run early, and as I expected, I knew someone was going to go low today. I was just trying to keep up with her and Marina early on.

“That birdie on 7 and 8 as well out of the pine straw was huge for momentum making the turn, and then another two on 10 and 11. I thought the shot on 11 was in. But, yeah, just some really solid iron shots to set up those chances.”

Finishing in solo second was Lexi Thompson, who posted a final-round 65 to reach 15 under.

“I think it’s all about just putting myself in contention,” said Thompson, who last won at the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic. “I’ve put in the work in the off-season, hours on the putting green, hours in the gym, and just working on myself and improvement. There’s all I want to see.

“As athletes we just continue to try to improve on our games and ourselves, and that’s what I see. We just want to see the hard work pay off. Just going to continue to work hard and stay in the moment and put myself in contention and hopefully a win will come.”

Sarah Schmelzel (64) made six birdies in her final seven holes to jump up the leaderboard into third at -14, her career-best finish on the LPGA Tour. Five players tied for fourth at -13, including Brittany Altomare (68) , who got off to a hot start thanks to five-straight birdies on Nos. 2-6.

LPGA Tour rookie Pauline Roussin-Bouchard (67) and major champion Jeongeun Lee6 (68) rounded out the top 10 in a tie for ninth at -12.

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