Fifth career win for Leona Maguire
Leona Maguire with her trophy. Picture courtesy Duke Sports Information

Leona Maguire with her trophy. Picture courtesy Duke Sports Information

Duke's Leona Maguire clinched the fifth win of her collegiate career when she closed with a one-under 70 to finish in a three-way tie for top spot in the NorthropGrumman Regional Challenge in California.

The 22-year old world amateur No 1 from Ballyconnell in Co Cavan was one-over par for the day with five holes to play after mixing bogeys at the first and 10th with a birdie at the ninth. 

But she finished in style, knocking in birdies at the 14th and 15th before finishing with three pars to share first place with UNLV’s Mackenzie Raim and Florida’s Taylor Tomlinson on four-under par.  

It was decided before the 54-hole event that there would be no playoffs in the event of any ties and Leona took advantage to record her first win of a season that had brought her three third places and a sixth place finish in her previous four starts.

She'd started the week brightly at Palos Verdes Golf Club, notching the first hole-in-one of her college career at the 119-yard 15th en route to an opening 68.

Maguire had planned to go to the LPGA Tour Qualifying School at the end of last year but changed her mind, preferring to complete the final two years of her university career to get her degree.

Duke University finished third overall, three strokes behind Southern California, who edged out  Olivia Mehaffey's Arizona State by a shot.

Mehaffey tied for 14th overall on three-over after rounds of 76, 71 and 69 while Leona's twin sister Lisa closed with her low round of the week, a 79, to finish 86th.

NorthropGrumman Regional Challenge, Palos Verdes Golf Club (Par 71)

Detailed scores

Team: 1 Southern California 856; 2 Arizona State 857; 3 Duke 859.
Individual: T1 Mackenzie Raim UNLV 72 68 69 209, Taylor Tomlinson Florida 71 69 69 209, Leona Maguire Duke 68 71 70 209; T14 Olivia Mehaffey Arizona State 76 71 69 216; 86 Lisa Maguire Duke 82 80 79 241.