Slieve Russell’s Leona Maguire is the world’s fourth best amateur according to the new Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
The 16 year old Cavan player, a runaway winner of the Portuguese Amateur Open title already this year, is the only European player inside the top 10.
Her twin sister Lisa Maguire is ranked 32nd with Stephanie Meadow the only other Irish player inside the top 200 at 138th.
The Women’s Ranking was launched earlier this month following “an extensive period of testing by The R&A and will provide the women’s game with a way to compare amateur player performance in elite competition over a rolling 52 week period.”
The Women’s Ranking currently has a calendar of 1,350 counting events with over 3,100 ranked players from 50 countries.
The men’s ranking was founded on 1 January 2007, and currently includes 1,800 Counting Events, with more than 5,000 players from 70 countries.
Since then, it has been adopted to determine the fields at national amateur championships in Spain, Britain and the USA, as well as many other amateur events throughout the world. There have been 17 WAGR number ones, including the current world number seven Rory McIlroy and 2010 USA Ryder Cup team member Rickie Fowler.
The current men’s number one is reigning US Amateur Champion Peter Uihlein of the USA. The women’s number one is 2010 LPGA Xavier International champion Mitsuki Katahira from Japan.
Paul Cutler (21st), Kevin Phelan (69th), Luke Lennox (215th), Alan Dunbar (301st) and Dermot McElroy (373rd) are the leading Irish players in the Men’s Ranking.
Cutler is one of just eight non-Americans in the top 25.