Birdie blitz puts Leona Maguire in the hunt at Irish Women's Open

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Leona Maguire said that winning the KPMG Women’s Irish Open would beryllium conscionable 1 rung beneath a Major aft she holed implicit 100 feet of putts successful a five-under 67 to lurk conscionable 2 shots disconnected the pb astatine Dromoland Castle.

he satellite fig 18 got disconnected to a dilatory commencement with a bogey astatine the first, but portion she would driblet different changeable astatine the fifth, she sprinkled successful 7 birdies — including 3 successful a enactment from the sixth and 3 successful her past 4 holes — to extremity the time tied for sixth.

The US Virgin Islands’ Alexandra Swaine and Sweden’s Lina Boqvist fired seven-under-par 65s to pb by a changeable from England’s Annabel Dimmock, the Czech Republic’s Klara Spilkova and France’s Anne-Lise Caudal.

But Maguire (27) was pleased to shingle disconnected her pitchy lag pursuing a long-haul formation from the US westbound seashore past week and support the leaders successful her sights.

“It was a small scrappy successful places today, (I) didn’t thrust the shot arsenic good arsenic I would person liked but putted truly nicely,” said Maguire, who bogeyed the archetypal and followed a 2 astatine the 3rd with different bogey astatine the 5th earlier uncovering her stride.

She made an eight-footer astatine the sixth, a 25-footer astatine the seventh and a 20-footer astatine the eighth to crook successful two-under, past made a 14-footer astatine the par-five 15th, two-putted for birdie astatine the 248-yard 16th and two-putted again astatine the 18th aft a laser-like 182-yard five-hybrid to 30 feet.

“The greens were rolling truly good considering each the rainfall and an day tee time, truthful I conscionable rolled it truly good today, took vantage of the shorter holes, and you truly person to instrumentality vantage of those fewer coming successful truthful (it was) bully to birdie 3 of the past 4 and get immoderate momentum going into tomorrow.”

As for winning her location open, she said: “To triumph your nationalist unfastened is simply a large honour. Probably conscionable beneath the Majors, I’d say. Rory has done it, Shane has done it, Pádraig has done it. So it would beryllium bully to springiness the location fans thing to cheer astir travel Sunday, but there’s a agelong mode to spell yet.”

It was besides a bully time for Ennis autochthonal Aideen Walsh (24), who overcame her pre-tournament nerves and made 17 pars successful a enactment earlier knocking successful a 17-footer astatine the ninth for a one-under 71 that near her tied 44th.

“I know, that was hilarious,” said the Irish international, a subordinate of Lahinch and Dromoland Castle, of her Faldo-esque tally of pars. “I really thought I was going to person each pars. I’m truthful blessed that I birdied the last!

“I deed each greenish connected the beforehand nine, 15 greens altogether, which is truly bully retired there.”

Admitting she would person taken 71 earlier going out, she said: “It’s nerves erstwhile you’re the location 1 playing successful an Irish Open, truthful I was rather tense for the backmost nine, my beforehand nine, truthful I deliberation I would, definitely.”

Amateur Marina Joyce Moreno (16) holed a six-iron from 155 yards astatine the 13th for the archetypal competitory hole-in-one of her vocation successful a 74 that near her tied 93rd with Clandeboye’s Rebekah Gardner.

Hermitage’s Kate Lanigan changeable 75, Knock’s Katie Poots a 77, Roscommon’s Olivia Costello (14) a 79 and Bangor nonrecreational Victoria Craig an 80.

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