Leona Maguire enters Olympic rankings - skipper McGinley monitoring

Leona Maguire during the LET"s Ladies British Masters at the Buckinghamshire, where she finished second. Picture: Tristan Jones (LET)

World Amateur No 1 Leona Maguire would qualify to play for Ireland if the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games were taking place this week. 

Thanks to her runner up finish in the ISPS HANDA Ladies British Masters on July 5, the 20-year old Slieve Russell and Duke University star is now officially 55th in the Women's Olympic Golf Ranking

She would be joined in Rio by LPGA Tour professional Stephanie Meadow, ranked 37th,  as it has emerged that  Galway-born Irish-American Alison Walshe, who also plays on the LPGA Tour, will not be declaring for Ireland after all.

Meadow does not have to turn professional to qualify for Rio de Janeiro. But she must maintain her Rolex World Ranking position by performing well when she plays in professional events, such as the Evian Championship this September.

Team Captain McGinley is keeping a watching brief and closely monitoring the performances of Ireland's potential team members, including Leona Maguire and the potential members of the men's team.

"She is currently ranked 336th in the Rolex Women's Rankings and if the Olympics were held today, she'd qualify with that ranking," McGinley said at the Scottish Open on Sunday. "The lowest ranked player to get into the women's field is 400th in the world at the moment. 

"Of course, the more events Leona enters the more opportunities she will have to earn points. The minimum divisor for a player's world ranking points average is 40 (events).

"So it's going to be important for her schedule that she enters events because every point she earns will accumulate to her total."

McGinley knows that the Co Cavan native has accepted an invitation for the Evian Championship, one of the five professional majors in women's golf, this September.

The Ballyconnell star, who helped Ireland finish eighth in the European Ladies' Amateur Team Championship in Denmark on Saturday, will return to college in the US in the autumn.

But she will try to play in more professional events and has joined Stephanie Meadow in trying to qualify for the Ricoh Women's British Open, which will be played at Trump Turnberry, from July 30 to August 2.

The Irish pair have entered Final Qualifying at The Irvine Golf Club in Scotland on July 27.