Leona Maguire faces an uphill task at Stage II of the LPGA Tour Qualifying School in Florida after she was forced to birdie two of her last three holes to open with a two-over 74 on the Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice.
The Slieve Russell star (23) is tied for 83rd, nine shots behind American Sarah Hoffman, who fired a seven-under 65 on the Panther Course to lead by one stroke from Korea’s Sandy Choi, who shot a six-under 66 on the Bobcat Course.
Starting on the back nine, Maguire birdied the 13th but then bogeyed the 15th and double bogeyed the 17th and bogeyed the third and fifth before making birdies at the seventh and eighth
After 18 holes, a total of 27 players are at 2-under par or better, with 11 more on one-under and 58 at even par or better.
A minimum of the top-25 players and ties will advance to the two-event Q-Series, scheduled for Pinehurst from October 22 to November 3.
Those at the next score, or scores, will also advance provided that the total number of players in Q-Series does not exceed 108, which currently has 62 exempt and entered competitors.