Maguire rides high after Solheim Cup success celebrations | LPGA

by | Oct 1, 2021 | LPGA

She was the only player to play five games in the Solheim Cup earlier this month and the only player to go undefeated. Hence, of course, when Leona Maguire returned to Ireland, she was greeted by a conquering heroine.

“I had seen posts on Twitter and Instagram and on social media showing the excitement of the people back home,” said Maguire. “But I don’t think I fully understand it yet.”

The sophomore year LPGA Tour rookie was greeted at Dublin Airport by her father, Declan. Her first stop was the Castletara National School, where he teaches.

“All of the kids had poems and dances and songs and all of that prepared, so we stopped,” added Maguire. “Then I went to bed for a couple of hours and Dad said there was something [going on] in our hometown that evening. “

After a brief, if much-needed nap after a long day of travel from the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, Maguire was the cause of celebration in Ballyconnell, a one-stop sign, a flashing yellow city.

“You go over the bridge, turn right and we did a loop and then back to the [Slieve Russell] Golf club I grew up in. There is a hotel and they had a little stage set up so we had a few conversations and answered questions, stuff like that, and then we had some food and music afterwards, ”she said. “The response was just incredible. I didn’t expect something like that.

“Went through my hometown in a gold convertible and my 94 year old grandmother was up front waving to everyone. I enjoyed seeing how she liked it so much. It’s been two quiet years for her. She’s on Facebook and enjoyed seeing all the news from all over the world, but it was probably one of the special things for her to see a lot of people she hadn’t seen in a while and everyone who was her Congratulating and sending her messages was probably one of the special things she did me. “

Before venturing back to America for Acer’s ShopRite LPGA Classic, where she made her professional debut in 2018, Maguire also appeared on RTE’s The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy. It was a great party for a mellow star who cares the least about recognition of her individual accomplishments.

“The Solheim Cup wasn’t about me. It was about what I could do for the team. Getting a team victory for Beany, the captains, for the rest of my teammates and then coming home and enjoying it for everyone else, that’s probably the special thing about the Solheim Cup or a Ryder Cup. You are part of something much bigger than yourself, ”said Maguire. “I already knew that then, but when I went home I really felt it. Hopefully it has inspired a younger generation of Irish players who one day would like to be in the Solheim Cup or even take part in some sport. I don’t care what sport it is, but I think there is a lot of enthusiasm for sport and women’s sport all over the country, and I think things like the Solheim Cup can only help. “

Maguire is now turning her attention back to the LPGA stroke play competition after riding the highs of the past three weeks. Her last appearance was at the AIG Women’s Open, one of seven top 15 results in a row. Maguire will try to continue the magic she showed at the Solheim Cup and the consistency she developed before the break, which she attributes to her caddy Dermot Byrne.

“He’s really helped me calm down and make some better decisions. I think I just saved a few strokes around the greens and didn’t reveal any stupid mistakes, ”said Maguire. “I want to finish the season as strong as possible. If the season ended today, I would still be incredibly happy.

“A lot of this dynamic from Solheim and behind the majors, yes, it would be kind of the icing on the cake to end the year with a win. If I do, great. If not, take the experience with you into the next year. “