Leona Maguire announced she will try for her LPGA Tour card at Q-School in the autumn after winning the leading amateur prize in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn.
The world amateur No 2 would have liked to have closed with something lower than a three over 75, but the Slieve Russell and Duke University player was still thrilled to win the Smyth Salver as he tied for 25th on four under behind winner Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand.
Asked if she had plans to turn professional despite having completed just two years of college at Duke, Leona said: “I think I'm going to go to Q-School, LPGA Q-School, later on this year. These events are good preparation for that.”
The 21 year old will be exempt into Stage II of the LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament at Plantation Golf and Country Club, Venice, Florida from October 17-23 if she remains inside the top-3 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking by the August 1 entry deadline.
She may well be back to No 1 before long as she prepares to head to Rio for the Olympic Games later this month with her sister Lisa, who will caddie there having toted the bag for her twin sister over the Marquess Course.
“I’ve had a great week,” Leona said. "Would have liked to play a little bit better today, but yeah, the goal this week was to have as much fun as possible and play as well as I could, and I’ve done pretty much that.”
The Co Cavan star clearly relishes the challenge of going toe to toe with the top professionals and said as much afterwards.
“It’s been great,” she said. “I've had a lot of fun this week, and it's been great having my sister on the bag and enjoyed every minute of it."
As for winning the Smyth Salver awarded to the leading amateur, she said: "It’s a huge honour. I'm sure there are some great names on that that have been there before me.
“So it's nice to join them, and like you said, all the top amateurs in the world are here this week and it's not often that we all get to play in the same tournament.
“I think I showed that I can compete with the best of them and would liked to have had a little bit better finish today, but I'm very, very happy with the week."
Maguire prepared well by playing parkland golf on treelined courses and picked out the third round 68, which left her tied 10th with a round to go, as her highlight.
“That was a nice 68,” she said. "I played really, really nice yesterday to sort of jump up the leaderboard. But overall, it’s been a great week.”
Given her form, she’s clearly got a legitimate chance of contending in Brazil.
“Leave for Rio for the Olympics on the 11th of August, so really excited about that,” she said. “Can’t wait to get out there.”