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Leona Maguire cards stunning 65 but loses Meijer LPGA Classic in dramatic play-off as Jennifer Kupcho triumphs

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Leona Maguire

Leona Maguire

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Leona Maguire

Leona Maguire produced a sensational final round charge but lost to American Solheim Cup rival Jennifer Kupcho after a three-way playoff in the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan.

The Co Cavan star went into the final round seven shots behind Nelly Korda on 11-under par but produced a birdie barrage on the final day at Blythefield Country Club.

The touring professional for the K Club birdied the first, then followed a bogey at the third with three-in-a-row from the fourth.

She then came home in four-under 32, knocking in birdies at the 10th, 12th, 13th and 18th for a closing 65 to tie with Kupcho, who had two holes to play, on 18-under.

Seeking her second win this year, she finished 40 minutes before the leaders but Kupcho could not pick up another shot and carded a 71 to tie with Maguire as overnight leader Korda made birdie at the 18th for a 72 to join them in the playoff.

Kupcho and Maguire birdied the first extra hole, the par-five 18th, as Korda made par to drop out.

But it was the American who would prevail with a tap in birdie at the second extra hole.

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"Yeah, it's really special,” said Kupcho, who exacted some revenge after losing to 5&4 Maguire in the Solheim Cup singles.

"I've been really close, but, I mean, this leaderboard was stacked. I think that's what I'm most proud of, is players that were up there with me.

"It was a very close battle to the end and I'm proud of it.”

Kupcho was three-over for the round after six holes but eagled the eighth and birdied the ninth, then birdied the 12th and 14th to edge ahead before that late bogey at the 16th.

“I think I struggled a little bit at the beginning, so it tells me I can really come back from it. I've always known I'm a back nine player, and that definitely came into effect today.”


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