Leona Maguire broke only the third time in her last nine rounds when she opened with a three-under 69 at the Cognizant Founders Cup in New Jersey.
The co-cavan star (27) is tied for 22nd, six shots behind Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who gained a lead over Megan Khang with a nine-under-63 bogey.
After missing the cut in her last two starts, Maguire is looking to regain some form in her last start before next month’s US Women’s Open.
She made an eagle, three birdies and two bogeys at the Upper Montclair Country Club just outside of New York City.
Stephanie Meadow ranks 47th with a one-under after making four birdies and three bogeys in a 71.
Nasa Hataoka, who won in Los Angeles in April, finished third after 66 seconds after a 65 with Bianca Pagdanganan, Amy Yang and Giulia Molinaro, a shot ahead of the group that included Lexi Thompson and Minjee Lee.
Sagstrom, runner-up at last year’s AIG Women’s Open, made nine birdies.
“It was one of those days,” Sagstrom said. “As if everything were easy. It’s like hitting the fairways, hitting the greens and making all the putts. The hole just kept growing.”
She told her Irish caddie Shane Codd it all felt like a tap-in. “It’s one of those days,” she said. “You’re just trying to keep the momentum going and just keep it going.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/leona-maguire-back-on-track-with-opening-69-in-founders-cup-41645754.html Leona Maguire is back on track with opening 69 in the Founders Cup