by Ronan MacNamara
Leona Maguire by Golffile
Leona Maguire is encouraged by the state of her game after rounding off her Asian swing with an eight-under 64 at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
The Cavan native finished on nineteen-under-par which was only enough for a 12th place finish as Nanna Koerstz Madsen claimed her maiden LPGA Tour win edging out Xiyu Lin on the second playoff hole after the pair were tied on 26-under.
Maguire saved her best round for last with a bogey-free round that included eight birdies.
“Today was actually pretty good. I think it was nice and overcast. I think I probably built it up in my head to be a bit worse than it actually was. I've done some hot baths and sauna work before I left, and pretty thankful I did that.
“I mean, it was hot. Don't get me wrong. We're not used to kind of weather. Felt like I managed it pretty okay.
“My game is in really good shape. Felt like I played really, really good golf tee to green this week. Didn't hole any putts at all the first three days; holed a few today, which was nice.
“So overall my game is in good shape heading out here,” she added.
The 27-year-old raced out of the traps with three birdies in her first four holes before a fourth birdie on the seventh saw her turn in 32.
After a birdie on the tenth, the world number nineteen finished with a flourish rolling in three birdies in her last five holes in what was the joint second-lowest round of the day.
Maguire carded just one bogey and one double-bogey all week (both in round three) and she credited her iron play as the key to that statistic.
“Yeah, I think that was because I was hitting my irons, my approach shots were really good all week. Gave myself a lot, a lot of chances and it was quite frustrating trying to stay patient.
“But it's nice, any time you finish off a tournament or a swing with your best round it's always good.”
Maguire will return home to Ireland for two days where she will link up briefly with her coach Shane O’Grady before heading out to Orlando.
“Going to see my coach on Tuesday, so probably take it easy on Monday. I don't get to go home that often, so my coach is based back in Dublin, so any time I get to home it's kind of something to work on.
“I mean, game doesn't need an awful a lot of work. Just kind of a fine tuning and checkup, few home cooked meals and sleep in my own bed and be good to go again.”
The Slieve Russell ambassador managed to complete her final round before play was suspended for lightning for the third straight day but once the clouds parted huge drama unfolded.
Danish golfer Madsen has rocketed up to 5th in the CME Group rankings after her breakthrough win and has become the first player from Denmark to win on the LPGA Tour.
She joins Solheim Cup teammate Maguire as the second first time winner this season and will take home a cheque for $240,000.