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Leona Maguire sure delaying plans to turn pro will help her succeed

By Liam Kelly

Leona Maguire, the world's No.1 female amateur, is opting out of the final stage of LPGA Qualifying School next week to remain in the unpaid ranks for the next 18 months.

Maguire, 22 next Wednesday, will concentrate on her golf and studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina until she graduates in 2018

She will then turn all her attention to gaining her playing rights on the LPGA Tour.

The Cavan golfer, who represented Ireland in the Olympics last summer and played the women's professional British and US Opens, came through stage three of the LPGA Q-School, but has decided not to take up her place in Daytona Beach next week.

Maguire announced her decision yesterday and said: "Upon considerable deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from stage three of LPGA Q-school and not pursue membership for 2017.

"This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but one that I feel is best for me in the pursuit of my long-term aspirations. I am thankful for the continuous support of my parents, friends, team-mates, coach Shane O'Grady, ILGU and everyone at Duke for their guidance.

"My dream is and always has been to compete alongside the world's best on the LPGA and this remains resolutely unchanged.

"It is my intention to turn professional after graduation in May 2018, and I look forward to enjoying many more unforgettable experiences representing Duke, Ireland and myself as an amateur golfer until then."

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