Golf

Leona Maguire takes early lead in San Francisco with stunning round of 65

Leona Maguire blasted a seven-under 65 to take the early lead in the LPGA Mediheal Championship in San Francisco.

he Co Cavan star (26) reeled off four birdies in her first six holes on the back nine at Lake Merced Golf Club, before following a bogey at the 16th with back-to-back birdies at the 17th and 18th to turn in a blistering, five-under 31.

Maguire (right) then picked up further shots at the first, fifth, and eighth before dropping a shot at the par-five ninth to lead by four shots in the clubhouse from American Jane Park as Stephanie Meadow struggled to an 80.

“It’s a lot of the same style of golf course, same weather as home,” said Maguire. “Got a nice feeling straight away when we arrived on Monday.”

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Knowing a maiden LPGA Tour win would be a huge boost to her Solheim Cup hopes, she added: “I’ve played two Junior Solheims, had a great time. I love match play, and it’s one of those things the better I play, the better chance I have.

“Just kind of have to keep doing what I’m doing and see what Beany (captain Catriona Matthew) thinks after the British Open.”

Meanwhile, Berehaven made history when they captured the 2020 AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield and their first national pennant in the AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Donegal Golf Club.

Declan Dunne and Luke O’Sullivan clinched the crucial point with a 4&2 win over Fergal Doogue and Nathan Gerraghty in a 3.5-1.5 victory over fellow minnows Baltinglass.

In the AIG Senior Cup, Belvoir Park will face Carton House for the title after they cruised to a comfortable 3.5-1.5 win over holders Galway as the Kildare men overcame a youthful Faithlegg 4-1.

In the AIG Junior Cup, Kilkenny had a comfortable 4-1 win over Balmoral and will battle for the title against Ballinasloe, who needed extra holes to see off Castletroy 3-2.

Spanish Point beat Gort 3.5-1.5 and will face Dunmurry, who were 3-2 winners over Cill Dara, in the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield Final.

At the PGA Tour’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree, Dustin Johnson carded a six-under 65 to share the early lead with Doc Redman as Seamus Power opened with a 70.

On the European Tour, Jonathan Caldwell fired a two-under 70 to lie six shots behind leaders Christine Wolff of Austria and England’s Sam Horsfield in the Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika in Gothenburg.

He was tied 56th as Wolf and two-time European Tour winner

Horsfield carded eight-under-par 64s for a one-stroke lead over England’s Steven Brown and Ashley Chesters, Finland’s Kalle Samooja and Spain’s Pep Angles.

On the Challenge Tour, veteran Michael Hoey (42) opened with a one-under 71 to lie six strokes behind Belgium’s Kristof Ulenaers in the Challenge de Cadiz at Novo Sancti Petri.

Conor Purcell and Conor O’Rourke shot three-over 75s, Tom McKibbin a 77 and Paul McBride a 78 to leave them struggling to make the cut.

Meanwhile, Hermitage’s Kate Lanigan beat Lorna McClymont 2&1 and Ffion Tynan 4&3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) where she now faces Iceland’s Jóhanna Lea Lúðvíksdóttir.

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