Patient Leona remains on track at Q-School
Leona Maguire in action in Spain recently. Credit: Tristan Jones

Leona Maguire in action in Spain recently. Credit: Tristan Jones

Slieve Russell’s Leona Maguire chiselled out a two under 70 and insisted she must remain patient if she’s to win her Ladies European Tour card at the Final Stage of the Lalla Aicha Tour School in Morocco.

While the Co Cavan star struggled to make putts at Palm Golf Ourika in Marrakesh, she's one of five players tied for fifth on six-under-par after two rounds, just two strokes off the lead.

“I played really nicely tee to green but didn’t hole as many putts as I would have liked,” she said after finishing with a birdie at the ninth.

"It was nice to finish with a good birdie on the last. I played Amelkis last week which is a bit shorter and I quite like it over there.

"The greens are a bit different, which makes it a little tricky switching between the two but they are both nice courses. It’s a long week so I’m taking one day at a time.”

Linnea Strom.  Credit: Tristan Jones

Linnea Strom. Credit: Tristan Jones

Belgian Leslie Cloots shot 67, England’s Sian Evans a 68 and Swede Linnea Ström a six-under 66 at Amelkis Golf Club  — the second venue used for the first four rounds — to share the lead on eight-under-par, one clear of Germany’s Esther Henseleit. 

The top 60 and ties after tomorrow's fourth round qualify for the fifth and final round with the top five (no ties) earning category 5c membership of the LET for 2019 and those ranked from sixth to 25th earning category eight membership.


Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy can pencil all the game's biggest events into his schedule for 2019 now that the year-ending world’s top 50 is set in stone.

While he's doubtful for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch, the world number eight is the only home player guaranteed a spot in the Masters, the US PGA, the US Open, The Open, the four World Golf Championships and The Players Championship.

Former winners Pádraig Harrington and Darren Clarke will join McIlroy in The Open at Royal Portrush next July while only Seamus Power so far qualifies to join the Holywood star in The Players at TPC Sawgrass in March after he retained his PGA Tour card. 

Only 2008 champion Harrington and world number 75 Share Lowry are on track to join the Co Down man at Bethpage State Park in New York for the US PGA from May 16-19 while only 2010 champion Graeme McDowell is certain to play the US Open at Pebble Beach from June 13-16.

There will be plenty of opportunities for Lowry, Harrington, Dunne, McDowell, Power and others to add big dates to their dairies through the PGA Tour or European Tour money lists or the world rankings.

But if they're to head down Magnolia Lane for the Masters, they must win a PGA Tour event that awards full FedExCup points by April 7 or break into the world's top 50 by March 31.

Dunne is ranked 118th in the world — down 43 spots on his year-end ranking 12 months ago.

He plans to resume in the Middle East in January, playing the Rolex Series Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Jan 13-16), the Omega Dubai Desert Classic (Jan 24-27) and the new Saudi International (Jan 31- Feb 3) before teeing it up in the ISPS Handa Vic Open ( Feb 7-10), the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth (Feb 14-17), the Oman Open (Feb 28-Mar 3), Qatar Masters (Mar 7-10) Maybank Championship (Mar 21-24).

Shane Lowry also plans to play in the Middle East while Gavin Moynihan hopes to begin in Dubai or Saudi Arabia before heading to the two Australian events and then on to Oman, Qatar and the Kenya Open (Mar 14-17).