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Leona Maguire loses grip on Ricoh British Women's Open's top amateur prize

 

By William S Callahan

Cavan girl Leona Maguire's bid to retain the leading amateur accolade in the Ricoh British Women's Open ended in disappointment at Kingsbarns Links yesterday.

Maguire, the reigning British amateur title holder, began the day in pole position to win the prestigious Smyth Salver for the second successive year, but she was pipped to the post by England's Sophie Lamb.

Lamb, who finished tied second in the recent Irish Women's Open Strokeplay Championship last May - Maria Dunne of Skerries won it - shot 69 in the fourth round to complete the tournament on six under.

Maguire was at five under after 12 holes, and looked likely to overtake the 19-year-old English woman, who was finished, in the remaining six holes.

Instead, the 22-year-old Cavan golfer, a student at Duke University in the USA and the World No.1 amateur, could not find the inspiration she needed.

Maguire had turned in 37, one over for the day, and reeled off a string of birdies before a double-bogey six on the 17th ended her challenge.

She finished on 75 and a three-under total of 285 for the tournament, which is the fourth women's Major of the season. Maguire, who will turn professional next year, can chalk this down as further valuable experience.

At the business end, South Korea's In-Kyung Kim began the day with a six-stroke lead after posting a record 54-hole total of 17-under-par, but England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff came storming through with a women's course record equalling eight-under 64.

Shadoff set the clubhouse target at 16-under and got within two strokes of the leader. It was just too little, too late.

Kim birdied the first and eighth holes. Her momentum stalled with a three-putt bogey on the ninth, but she reeled off nine pars to win by two strokes.

The 29-year-old from Seoul finished with a total of 18-under 270 to claim her first Major title and her 10th professional win in total, worth £387,996 (€429,621)

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