Leona Maguire saved her first match ball at Stage II of the LPGA Tour's Qualifying Tournament when she fired a gutsy two-under 70 in the third round at Plantation Golf and Country Club’s Panther Course to keep her hopes of an LPGA Tour card alive.
The former world amateur No 1 lies just two shots outside the top 25 and ties who will progress to the next week's Q-Series and the race for 45 LPGA Tour cards as she heads to the Bobcat Course for Thursday’s final round.
While she is tied for 43rd on one-over-par with the top-25 players and ties guaranteed spots in the new Q-Series — consecutive, 72-hole events at Pinehurst Resort — more players may still make it.
With 62 exempt and entered competitors already pencilled in for Pinehurst, those at the next score or scores outside the top 25 and ties will also advance provided that the total number of players at the Q-Series does not exceed 108.
Given that 34 players are tied for 25th or better, all those currently on level par would also progress if the event were to end now, leaving the Ballyconnell battler one shot shy of a trip to North Carolina.
Wales’ Amy Boulden shot a seven-under par 65 in the third round to lead by two shots on 11-under from Korea’s Youngin Chun.
The Q-Series, which introduced this year to replace the Final Stage of Q-School, consists of two, no-cut, 72-hole, stroke-play events held on consecutive weeks.
Scores will be cumulative over the two weeks which means that if a competitor shoots four-under in week one, she will begin week two on that score.
The top 45 and those tied for 45th place at the end of Q-Series will receive LPGA Membership in Category 14 on the LPGA Priority List.
Competitors who finish outside of the Top 20, will also receive Symetra Tour Membership in Category C on the Symetra Tour Priority List.