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Maguire relishing Irish feel as she defends Meijer Classic title – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Leona Maguire believes Blythefield Country Club has similar characteristics to what she would have grown up playing during her amateur days in Ireland.

A product of Slieve Russell in County Cavan, Maguire feels right at home at the Meijer Classic for Simply Give where after back to back second place finishes she finally got over the line last year for her second LPGA Tour title.

Ireland is famous for its links courses but Maguire admits her golfing back ground was shaped by parkland golf as she looks to defend her crown this week.

“The golf course is very similar to home. It’s got a very Irish feel to it. Weather is obviously quite a bit nicer,” said Maguire.

“I think a lot of people associate Irish golf with links golf, primarily around the coast and things like that. But actually a lot of Irish golf courses are like this: A lot of trees, very green. That’s mainly because of a lot of the rain we get. I grew up playing courses like that more than links golf.

“Yeah, and I think just the people as well, the friendly atmosphere around I think the midwest is a little bit more similar to the Irish mentality in that way.”

Maguire was narrowly beaten on the 72nd hole by Nelly Korda three years ago before losing in a playoff twelve months later. Having wondered if she would ever get the victory she craved a blistering back nine saw her roar to victory last year.

“I think patience I suppose probably was the big thing. It’s coming, it’s coming, just be patient. That’s sort of summed it up on Sunday last year. I played some great golf and no putts were going in. Then made birdie on 13 and opened the floodgates. Made eagle on 14. Yeah, just kind of came out of nowhere really.

“Yeah, there is a lot of ways to do it round this golf course, and when you know people are going to be going low, it’s easy to sort of force things. Definitely staying patient and knowing there are chances and just being ready to take them when you get them.

“Yeah, it was obviously very nice. I feel like in ’21 I played some incredible golf and Nelly just played even better that year.

“Then to get into a playoff the next year, it was kind of a case of what do I need to do here to get this done.

But, yeah, it’s funny. I’ve done it some very different ways. I’ve gone out low the first two days. Last year finished strong over the weekend. So there is a lot of different ways to do it around here. Scoring is always low, so it is kind of, yes, you have to — you know you have to make a lot of birdies, but sometimes you have to be patient.

“Last year it was sort of patience right down to the very end, and then on the last six holes went on that run and nice to finish it off in style.”

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