Mighty Leona Maguire bags two points as Curtis Cup sides end level

Leona Maguire helped bag two points for Britain and Ireland as the opening day of the 39th biennial Curtis Cup match against the United States at Dun Laoghaire ended all square at 3-3.
Mighty Leona Maguire bags two points as Curtis Cup sides end level

Slieve Russell’s Maguire, 21, making her third Curtis Cup appearance, tasted victory in both the foursomes and fourballs yesterday, while Royal County Down star Olivia Mehaffey helped secure the other point in the foursomes.

The opening day began brilliantly for the hosts, who were ahead at the turn in all three foursomes contests and quickly stormed into a 2-0 lead.

World number eight Mehaffey and talented English star Bronte Law put the first point on the board with a 2&1 triumph over Hannah O’Sullivan – the world number one – and Mariel Galdiano.

Having been two-up after nine, the victory was sealed when Law rolled in an 18-foot putt for birdie on the 17th.

Then came world number two Magure’s turn to shine again as, teaming up with Charlotte Thomas, she used all of her experience to help secure a 4&2 win over Andrea Lee and Mika Liu.

It wasn’t all plain sailing as they trailed the Americans by two holes after the fifth – but soon fought back to win three holes in a row from the sixth to seize the advantage for the first time and they didn’t look back.

Meanwhile it nearly got even better for Great Britain and Ireland with Skerries’ Maria Dunne – who was of Elaine Farquharson-Black’s two captain’s picks – and Meghan MacLaren seemingly on their way to victory in the other foursomes.

Dunne and MacLaren were three-up after eight holes against Bailey Tardy and Monica Vaughn.

However they couldn’t hold on and the American pair fought back to win 1up – and avoiding a morning whitewash – when Dunne and MacLaren failed to get up-and-down from just off the 18th green.

But 2-1 soon became 3-1 when Maguire, this time teaming up with Law, recorded a comprehensive 4&3 victory over Bethany Wu and Sierra Brooks in the first of the afternoon fourballs.

However the reigning champions fought back to win both of the other fourballs contest to ensure they ended day one on level terms. Mehaffey and Thomas were beaten on the final green by Galdiano and O’Sullivan – whose grandparents were born at Tipperary and Limerick.

MacLaren and Alice Hewson, meanwhile, went down 2&1 against Tardy and Vaughn.

Today sees another set of foursomes and fourballs contests before the eight singles matches tomorrow.

Holders USA need 10 points to retain the trophy they won in St Louis two years ago.

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