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22nd Jun 2023

“I have to thank him for it” – Leona Maguire on role Padraig Harrington played in her latest win

“I’ll have to check in with him and see if we can do it again.”

Leona Maguire is heading into a double major swing, in the coming weeks, as the Women’s PGA and US Open take place.

Having won her second LPGA event, on Sunday, the 28-year-old would dearly hope to maintain that form, and momentum, as she eyes a majors maiden. On the same day, Padraig Harrington was finishing tied for 27th in the US Open.

Harrington, now 51, book-ended that major with a rounds of 73 but he rolled back the years with rounds of 67 and 69 to, at one stage, get within sight of the leaders. Only five other Europeans finished with a better closing score than Harrington [+2] and there were some half serious suggestions that he should definitely be considered for a playing Ryder Cup place, later this year.

After her win at the LPGA Meijer Classic, Maguire revealed that Harrington moon-lighted with some coaching advice that served her very well as she carded a final round 64 to get the job done.

Leona MaguirePadraig Harrington and Leona Maguire. (Credit: Getty)

Leona Maguire on Padraig Harrington

As she was wrapping up her Meijer Classic victory, Leona Maguire passed on her best wishes, on the CBS broadcast, to Rory McIlroy.

Ultimately, it was not to be for McIlroy at the US Open – he finished second to Wyndham Clark – but Maguire told reporters what he and other leading Irish golfers meant to her. She said, “Obviously, Rory has been incredibly impressive, everything that he’s done throughout his career.

“He was kind of gone out of junior golf in Ireland when I was growing up, but I think yes, Rory has been a big inspiration for a lot of people. The big one for me has been Padraig Harrington. I had a few really key up-and-downs this week especially on 17, both Friday and Saturday. Padraig showed me some shots, so I have to thank him for it. I got to spend some time with him.

“All the Irish guys are great. I think it’s nice being from that sort of close-knit community, Shane [Lowry] and Padraig, Paul McGinley. They’re there to give me advice or give Dermot [Byrne, my caddy] advice whenever we need it, so it’s nice to have that sort of camaraderie give the people at home more to cheer about.”

Leona Maguire ended up winning, on Sunday, by two strokes thanks to a hot closing streak. She went -6 on the final six holes and had a couple of key up-and-downs to seal the deal.

Maguire said Harrington had shown her some short game shots last summer. “I potentially have to pay him another trip this summer,” she remarked. “[I saw him] right before the British Open last year. He’s a little busy today at the U.S. Open, but I’ll have to check in with him again and see if we can do it again.”

Heading into those upcoming majors, the Cavan native reflected, “I feel like my confidence has been few weeks case of getting it all to come together and the goal was to be coming into good form heading into Baltusrol and Pebble, so we’ve peaked a week early, which is nice. Hopefully we can continue that run of form.”