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Leona Maguire so close to Euro glory


Heartbreak: Leona Maguire finished in second place

Heartbreak: Leona Maguire finished in second place

Heartbreak: Leona Maguire finished in second place

Leona Maguire's magnificent charge towards the Ladies European Masters title ended in heartbreaking fashion.

The world number one amateur came agonisingly close to a professional Tour success but was left reflecting on what might have been.

The Cavan native looked poised to grab a play-off place only for a bogey at the last to torpedo her chances.

With one hole to play, the 20-year-old shared the lead with eventual victor, American Beth Allen, but she posted her third bogey of the day after finding a bunker.

Maguire fired a three-under-par 69 to end on 11 under, one behind the winner and though she will be disappointed at the finish, her performance will give her great encourgement going forward.

Meanwhile, Austria's Bernd Wiesberger added his name to the illustrious list of Alstom Open de France champions thanks to a brilliant closing 65 at Le Golf National.

Wiesberger carded six birdies in a flawless round to finish 13 under par, three shots ahead of playing partner James Morrison, who also did not drop a shot in a closing 67. Overnight leader Jaco van Zyl was two shots further back after a disappointing 73, but at least had the consolation of joining Morrison in claiming one of the three qualifying places on offer for the Open Championship.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello secured the remaining place at St Andrews thanks to a stunning back nine of 29 after going to the turn in 40, the Spaniard carding two eagles and two birdies to finish fifth, a shot behind two-time major winner Martin Kaymer.

"It was a great year but a tough year for me so far," said Wiesberger, who was no lower than sixth in his first four events of the season and lost a play-off for the Irish Open at Royal County Down in May.

"I have had a lot of success but just could not quite pull it off so to stand here with the trophy makes it pretty sweet."

Wiesberger will now target a first major title after enjoying the experience of playing in the last group alongside eventual winner Rory McIlroy in the final round of the US PGA Championship last year.

"I love St Andrews and the Open and I love playing hard golf courses," he added. "I am really looking forward to the rest of the major season."

Michael Hoey finished a disappointing joint 45th on six over par after carding a closing four-over 75.

Hoey recorded a birdie and two bogeys, before dropping three shots at his final hole.

Belfast Telegraph