Leona Maguire: Irish golfer out to shine at Women's British Open

Leona Maguire
Leona Maguire was number one in the women's world amateur rankings before turning professional

Leona Maguire believes a previous win at Royal Troon will boost her hopes in the Women's British Open next month.

Ireland's Maguire, who is in her first year on the LPGA Tour, won the Scottish Women's Amateur Open at 14 on the links course in 2009.

"The goal this year was to get into majors and I'm in the British Open so that's one box ticked," said Maguire.

"It's one of my favourite courses - it's a course I like and I've got good memories from there."

Maguire, who has been tuning up her game during the Covid-19 lockdown, believes the tournament offers the chance of securing a new audience.

"We were having our fingers crossed for a while that the British Open would go ahead, especially with the men's tournament being cancelled. It's a huge opportunity for us," Maguire, 25, told Sportsound Extra Time.

"It will be on TV and hopefully we can reach a bigger audience that we normally would have - I think it will probably convert a lot of non-believers into women's golf fans."

'When we were growing up, there were was no-one to look up to'

Maguire's goals also include seeing more girls take up the sport and she hopes that joining fellow Irish player Stephanie Meadow on the LPGA Tour will act as inspiration.

"There's definitely a lot more girls playing now than when I started and a lot more 10- and 11-year-olds coming along to watch events. It's great to see," the Cavan golfer added.

"It's great that myself and Stephanie are out of the LPGA now - when we were growing up there was no Irish golfer on the LPGA Tour, there was no-one for us to look up to.

"We had guys on the tour but no ladies so hopefully we can get that conveyor belt going like the lads do on their side and get a few more out on the tour fairly soon.

"That's the thing, just getting that visibility there - young girls can look up to us to see that it is possible to be a pro golfer. If we can do it there's no reason why they can't either."

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