Talented Maguire twins set for stardom

Twin talents Lisa and Leona Maguire are set to become Ireland’s latest golfing stars.

The ten year olds from Ballyconnell in Co Cavan have only been playing the game seriously since St Patrick’s Day.

But they have already been compared to child prodigies like Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Michelle Wie.

Earlier this week, Lisa won the Woods endorsed Young Masters Golf Junior Series at La Manga in Spain.

And sister Leona finished second to complete yet another family double on the fairways this season.

Yet incredibly, Lisa and Leona have not been playing the game since they were infants.

They first touched a golf club 12 months ago and played their first competition off 36 in Castle Hume on St Patrick’s Day.

But they have been so successful that their handicaps have plummeted by a combined 49 SHOTS in the space of just ten months.

Coached by Sean Donnelly at Castle Hume, they have also had plenty of help from Tristan Mullally at Slieve Russell Golf Club, just yards from their home and hope to follow in their footsteps and become professional golfers.

They eat, sleep and dream the game, hit drives of almost 200 yards and chip and putt like professionals.

Lisa has had plenty of highlights this season, including a hole-in-one at Dunmurry’s 163-yard 16th hole in the Peggy Nelson Trophy finals.

She would also have won the Lady Captain’s prize at Castle Hume when she went round in five over par gross for a nett 48 points but was not eligible to take the top prize as she is not over 18.

Ten handicap Lisa said: “I love golf. I love the competition and watching players like Annika Sorenstam, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.

“I love to practice and I want to play in more competitions and get my handicap down to single figures.”

Sister Leona, a 13 handicapper, won the British Finals of the HSBC Wee Wonders at Balgove Golf Club in St Andrews by 11 shots in September.

And that means that both girls will be in action in the Wee Wonders World Championships in Virginia next year.

Dad Declan, who doubles as their primary school teacher, hopes they continue to have fun.

He said: “The girls just love golf. Their bedroom at home is covered in golf posters and every time I buy a golf magazine, it disappears.

“They like swimming as well but they are not really into girlie stuff. It’s golf, golf, golf with them but as long as they are enjoying it, we’re happy.”