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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Leona Maguire two off the lead heading into final round of Open de Espana

Leona Maguire hopes a fast start will put her in position to attack on the back nine and round off a sensational season with a win in the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España.

he Co Cavan star, who will celebrate her 28th birthday next Wednesday, heads into the final round tied for second at Aferini Golf, just two shots behind Switzerland’s Morgane Metraux.

“It was pretty steady,” said the world number 11, whose three-under 70 leaves her tied with Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and Spanish amateur Cayetana Fernandez pm 12-under.

“I didn’t really hole any putts. I left myself above the hole a lot which made it quite tricky. I’m two shots back. I will just try and post a low round tomorrow and see what happens.”

Maguire won on the LPGA Tour in February, but she’d love to round off a career-best season with her first win on the Ladies European Tour.

“I think you have to keep it tight through the first few holes and then there’s some chances on the back nine,” she said of her game plan for Sunday.

“Hopefully, I’ll get off to a little bit of a quick start tomorrow and then take advantage of the shorter holes on the back nine.”

Metraux (25) fired six-under 67 to lead by two shots on 14-under from Maguire, Hedwall and Fernandez with defending champion Carlota Ciganda only three shots back in outright fifth after a 68.

Race to the Costa del Sol leader, Sweden’s Linn Grant, is tied for sixth after a 74 and must tie or finish above Maja Stark to win the Order of Merit.

Stark is just a shot behind Grant, tied ninth on eight-under after a 73.

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