Leona Maguire was thrilled to see her game “click” into gear and rack up the lowest 72-hole score of her life to finish an impressive second in pre-qualifying for the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco.
While there was disappointment for her twin sister Lisa, who bogeyed three of her last five holes and two of her last three to miss out by two strokes on five-over after a fourth round 73, Leona was pleased as punch to be heading into the five-round Final Stage in top form.
The former world amateur number one closed with an immaculate, five-under 67 at Amelkis Golf Club in Marrakesh, to finish six strokes behind Sweden’s Linnea Strom on 17-under par.
“I felt like I was close all summer but things just clicked together nicely this week,” said Leona, who will play mainly on the second-tier Symetra Tour in the US next season after failing to reach the final stage of the LPGA Tour’s qualifying process.
“It’s the lowest total I’ve had for four rounds ever gives me good confidence.
“[Coach] Shane [O’Grady] and I found something with my putting after Spain. I took advantage of the par fives more this week which I’ve been working on.”
It was an impressive performance from Maguire who was one of 38 players to make it through to the 90-hole Final Stage, which begins in Marrakesh on Sunday.
As for Lisa, she started her final round one stroke outside the top 38 on four-over.
However, she bogeyed her 14th, 16th and 17th holes coming home to finish two shots outside the top 38 on five-over.
Ström, who graduated to the LPGA Tour after a winning Symetra Tour season this year, posted rounds of 66, 69, 62 and 68 to top the qualifiers on 23 under par.
The former Arizona State University player will be one of 116 players from 31 countries looking to secure one of 25 full Ladies European Tour cards at Amelkis Golf Club and Palm Golf Ourika from December 16-20.