Double Olympians Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow in a confident frame of mind

Maguire and Meadow will double up for Ireland in Tokyo this week, just as they did five years in Rio when the former finished in a tie for 21st and the latter ended up ten spots back
Double Olympians Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow in a confident frame of mind

Leona Maguire chatting with Rory McIlroy at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Tokyo last weekend. Picture: James Crombie

Leona Maguire is hoping the pointers she has taken from Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry at the Kasumigaseki Country Club can help her do something special at the women’s Olympic tournament this week.

McIlroy just missed out on a bronze medal via a seven-man playoff on Sunday while a poor front nine on the fourth day cost Lowry the opportunity to stand on the podium, but both Maguire and Stephanie Meadow got to watch their male counterparts grapple with the course and the conditions.

Their Olympic bids get underway here tomorrow.

“It’s nice to get their take on things, watching them get a feel for the golf course,” said Maguire who met with her male counterparts last Saturday.

“I had never seen Rory hit a shot before in person, so that was very impressive to watch. So yeah, hopefully we can do as well as them, or hopefully a little better.”

Maguire has arrived in Japan on the back of a superb performance in the Evian Championship where she shot a 61 on the final day and finished in a tie for sixth, five strokes behind Australia’s Minjee Lee.

“Yeah, I mean my game is in nice shape. It was nice to finish off Evian with a good round and good momentum. It was my best finish in a major so I’m sort of trending in the right direction.

“And it’s a very different golf course this week. I’ve never been to Asia before so I’m dealing with different grasses and all that. So I’m trying to learn this new golf course as best as we can before we go on Wednesday.”

Maguire and Meadow will double up for Ireland here this week, just as they did five years ago in Rio when the former finished in a tie for 21st and the latter ended up ten spots back.

The Cavan woman is hoping that the experience in Brazil will stand to her.

“In Rio I was just in awe of everything and just happy to be there. Obviously I was just an amateur golfer and just halfway through college, so it’s a bit of a different feel this week and I have nearly a full year of LPGA under my belt.

“It’s all the same girls that I play with week in, week out. Rio five years ago, I was watching the girls on TV as opposed to playing against them so it’s nice to have that sort of familiarity and having some good results throughout the year. I know I can contend with the best of them.”

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