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Caption: Leona Maguire in action during the quarter-final match yesterday (Photo: R&A)
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) has reached the semi-finals of the match play stage in the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship after another excellent display of golf on the South Wales coast yesterday.
The Irish Olympian produced a flawless performance during yesterday's third round, comfortably beating Beatrice Wallin 7&6 to set up a quarter final encounter against Paula Grant (Lisburn), who reached the last eight after a narrow one hole win over good friend Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL).
Maguire started the contest in electric fashion after picking up two holes early on and thereafter remained in front for the duration of the match despite Grant's best efforts. The match was closed out on the 16th hole and Maguire, who currently leads the women's WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™, advanced to tomorrow's semi-finals with a 4&2 win. "I played really nicely this morning with a lot of birdies and then carried it through to this afternoon's match. Paula has been playing really well all week so I knew it was going to be a very tough match. I got off to a good start and we traded birdies for a while so I was glad to get the win in the end." explained Maguire after overcoming leading qualifier and fellow countrywoman Grant. "Obviously to win the championship would be great as it's one of the biggest amateur events but I'll just take one match at a time. I'll go out there tomorrow and play as well as I can."
It took four extra holes to separate the quarter final between Finland's Anna Backman and Anastasia Mickan of Germany. The pair traded holes during a see-saw encounter but remained deadlocked at all-square after finishing the 18th hole.
However, a birdie on the 22nd hole by Backman eventually sealed the win and paved the way for the Finnish youngster to set up a semi-final clash with Maguire.
The semi-finals of the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship will be played this morning starting at 08.30am followed by the Final.