Leona Maguire cruises through to LPGA Tour Qualifying School Stage III
 Leona Maguire during the WATC. © USGA/Steven Gibbons

Leona Maguire during the WATC. © USGA/Steven Gibbons

Ireland's Leona Maguire cruised easily through the Qualifying School Stage II in Florida and is just five rounds away from a place on the LPGA Tour.

The 21-year old Slieve Russell and Duke University star, currently ranked No 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, closed with a battling 72 at Plantation Golf and Country Club's Bobcat Course in Venice, Florida to finish tied sixth on three under with the top 80 and ties progressing to the final stage on 12 over par or better.

It was a solid performance for the Ballyconnell native, who had her father Declan as her caddie and her coach, Shane O'Grady on hand all week.

She began the day tied for third but after a bogey at the first and a double bogey six at the second, she birdied the fifth, ninth and 14th to get back to level for the day.

Norway's Marianne Skarpnord topped the qualifiers on by five strokes on 11 under par from Leona's Curtis Cup team mate Bronte Law while her Duke team mate Celine Boutier also made it through.

Scores

Leona's goal now is to secure a full LPGA Tour card and she now faces five rounds over the Hills and Jones courses at LPGA International in Daytona Beach from November 30 to December 4.

The top 70 and ties after 72 holes will contest the fifth and final round over the Hills Course and while the number of cards available has yet to be decided, the Top 20 and ties were awarded LPGA Tour cards last year.