Team Europe’s Leona Maguire plays a shot during a training round prior to the start of the Solheim Cup at Inverness Club on September 03, 2021 in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)
Leona Maguire has today a massive vote of confidence from European skipper Catriona Matthew and a dream debut at Mel Reid’s side against superstar sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda in the opening session of the Solheim Cup foursome in Ohio.
The co-Cavan star (26) will be in the third game against the two best players in the US world rankings Nelly, the Olympic champion and KPMG women’s PGA Winner, and world number 18 Jessica, a six-time LPGA winner, knocked out.
« To be honest, it’s not really her game this week, it has been her game for probably the last year and a half, » Matthew said of their reasons for pairing the Irish star with Reid, who will make her fourth appearance at the Solheim Cup.
« I think she’s just a very stable player. Hit lots of fairways, hit lots of greens and make lots of birdies; great computer.
“I think she and Mel have really gotten to know each other over the past few days and I think their games are kind of complementary. Leona is a fantastic green reader and a fantastic putter and Mel may have that little extra length.
« I think they like to play together and their games will complement each other well in a foursome. »
AIG Women’s Open winner Anna Nordqvist from Sweden will compete for Europe with Finnish rookie Matilda Castren against Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst, while Europe is trying for the second time to win the Solheim Cup on US soil.
Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall (Eur) face Ally Ewing and Megan Khang, while Charley Hull and Emily Kristine Pedersen take on Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare in the anchor match.
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Ireland’s 2011 Solheim Cup gathered in Killeen Castle as the country’s leading female golfer from earlier decades captured the essence of the occasion: « This can provide much-needed role models for our young girls, » said Mary McKenna, a distinguished member of the European backroom team.
Leona Maguire may be the first Irish woman selected for the Solheim Cup, but she humbly insists she will play a rookie role, even if the numbers suggest she is arguably the most in-form player in Europe
Pádraig Harrington announced that he has become a huge fan of women’s golf when he described Leona Maguire’s call-up to the Solheim Cup as « a tremendous achievement ».
Leona Maguire may be Ireland’s greatest golfer – but she’s only now becoming a household name.
A Mediahuis website
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