Leona lurking in weather hit NCAA finals; Duke leads in clubhouse
 Leona Maguire after her round

Leona Maguire after her round

World No 1 Leona Maguire opened with a one-under-par 71 on a weather delayed opening day of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship at the Concession Club in Florida.

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“The golf course obviously is a little longer than we’ve been playing all year and the greens are pretty fast and slick as well,” said Maguire, who is tied for sixth but just a shot behind clubhouse leaders Gaby Lopez (Arkansas),  Katelyn Dambaugh (South Carolina) and Annie Park (Southern California) who all shot 70s. “It has the whole atmosphere of that big sort of style event, which is great. It’s always nice to play in big events.”

Stanford's  Mariah Stackhouse was four under par through 12 holes and whole clear of Alabama's Emma Talley (15 holes) when play was suspended due to weather. 

In the team standings, Stanford leads on three under with holes to play today with Duke leading on five over thanks to that 71 by Leona,  Celine Boutier's 73, Sandy Choi's 74.

Gurbani Singh shot 75 while Lisa Maguire struggled to an 89 on a very tough course that has become the protagonist of the week. 

(Leona interview)

“The whole course, you’re going to be mentally worn out at the end of the day,” Duke head coach Dan Brooks said of the Jack Nicklaus course.

Leona added: "You definitely have to be a strategist out there. It makes you think. You can’t just up and hit it, whatever. And especially the fact it’s going to be such a long week. It requires a lot of patience out there."

The event will conclude with matchplay which Duke hopes will suit its European stars.