Her sister Leona has been the star all year and it was almost unfair that Duke’s bid to defend the NCAA title should fall on Lisa Maguire who went down in unbearable fashion at the sixth extra hole in the semi-finals in Florida last night.
World No 1 Leona, the 2015 Annika Award winner and the top college player in the US, had lost to 1 up to Baylor’s Dylan Kim at the Concession.
With the overall match was poised at 2-2, it all came down to Lisa, who had a fairytale opportunity to catch some of the limelight for a change.
After a tough year of swing changes that have left her deep in the shadow of her twin sister, at 410th in the US collegiate rankings and 810th in the world, she fought back from two down with two to play to force extra holes against Lauren Whyte.
Lisa trailed early but mounted a comeback winning holes five, seven and eight to take a 2-up lead. The match went back to all square through 12 holes and before Lisa came back from two down with winning pars at the 17th and 18th.
According to GoDuke.com: "On both holes No. 12 and No. 13, Maguire featured birdie putts from about 12 feet to clinch the win for the Blue Devils but they just missed. Maguire had a great up-and-down from the bunker on the 23rd hole to save par and extend the match. On their 24th hole, Maguire hit her drive next to the water and ended up totaling a double-bogey, while Whyte three-putted for bogey to clinch the victory for her and her teammates.”
Duke coach Dan Brooks paid tribute to Lisa afterwards, predicting big things for her once she comes through her swing changes.
“I just feel bad for Lisa,” he said. “She’s put on a great show there at the end and it didn’t come out. That’s the way it goes.”
Asked if she’d take the positives from a gusty performance after a tough year and a difficult week, he said: “I hope that’s what she’s taken away from it.
“Anything she hasn’t accomplished this year has been because I have messed with her golf swing.
“She is going to be a great golfer. She already has been. She has now got a move that I think is going to produce more power in time.
“But this year was really messed with and she certainly was coachable and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be on my team and a better student to work with."