Sisterly understanding and improved par-five scoring has given Leona Maguire a shot at her first professional victory on the Symetra Tour in Florida.
The former world amateur number one is tied for fourth on eight-under, just three shots behind Malaysia's Kelly Tan heading into the final round of the Florida's Natural Charity Classic at the Country Club of Winter Haven.
Tan shot a second round 66 to lead by a stroke on 11-under par from American Laura Wearn (66) with Demi Runas alone in third on nine under after a 67 . Scores
After starting her season with three top 25 finishes in her first four starts, the 24-year old from Co Cavan fired a second successive 68 to share fourth place with Americans Katelyn Sepmoree (67) and Daniela Iacobelli (69) heading into today's final round.
“I’ve just been hitting some good shots on it," she said of her eight-under par tally on the back nine. "I think it’s maybe a touch shorter, some of the front holes are decently long so not quite as many chances on the front side.
"There’s three par-5s on the back which is always nice, birdied all of them today and that always helps. I’ve been trying to get my par-5 scoring down, and it has been good this week, makes a big difference.”
The top 10 on the Symetra Tour money list at the end of the season will be awarded full LPGA Tour cards, and Maguire knows that with the presence of twin sister Lisa on her bag an added bonus, a win on St Patrick's Day would hugely ease her path to the big tour.
“She knows my clubs better than anybody, and she’s been reading my putts for me as well, which is probably helping," said Leona, who will be seeking to put some disappointing final rounds behind her with a strong finish.
"Just trying to hit it on the line she’s telling me. She knows my game better than anybody, and we get along really well. It’s always nice to have someone like that on the bag.”
The twins will practice together in Orlando next week before Leona heads to California for back-to-back Symetra Tour starts and Lisa prepares for the start of her season in Europe.
.@leona_maguire 🇮🇪 finishes her 4-under par second round with birdie on No. 9 and is currently only one back of the lead held by @demirunasgolf as the entire morning wave is now off the course #FLNatCC #Road2LPGA— Symetra Tour (@ROAD2LPGA) March 16, 2019
Scores ➡️ https://t.co/7DfSD2FQAG pic.twitter.com/k4ovS4g34S