World Amateur No 1 Leona Maguire clinched the eighth individual win of her Duke University career in the season-opener when she won the Jim West Challenge by three strokes at The Woodlands in Texas.
The 22-year old from Co Cavan was five strokes clear of Texas A&M's Maddie Szeryk and Missouri's Jess Yuen with a round to play after following a 67 with a career low 63 — the second lowest score in Duke history — at the Fazio Course at The Club at Carlton Woods.
Szeryk got to within three shots of Maguire when she turned in 33 to the Irish star's level par 35.
But Maguire birdied the 10th and 12th and followed bogeys the 14th and 15th with a birdie at the 18th to card one-under 70 to win comfortably from Szeryk (68) on 13-under 200, a new Duke record, and become the third most successful individual in Duke history behind Amanda Blumenherst and Mary Anne Widman (12 each) with eight wins.
“I couldn't have asked for a better start to the season,” said Leona, who made an individual best 18 birdies in three rounds. “I'm really proud of my performance and everybody on the team, we all stepped up and I'm excited for the season ahead of us.”
Oklahoma's Julienne Soo (68), Yuen (69) and Duke's Ana Belac (68) tied for third, four strokes adrift on nine-under, 204.
Lisa Maguire (76 75 78) finished in a tie for 58th on 229 as Duke took the team title by a massive 22 strokes from Oklahoma on 33-under par.