Cavan's Leona Maguire holds nerve to seal Euro card
Leona Maguire put herself in frame to challenge for a dream Solheim Cup debut in 2019 after she made a 15-footer in sudden-death to dramatically clinch her Ladies European Tour card in Morocco.
The 24-year-old Slieve Russell rookie started the final day of action just one stroke outside the top five who would be awarded premium LET cards at Amelkis Golf Club in Marrakesh.
And, after suffering the agony of missing out by just one shot at Stage Two of the LPGA Q-School in October, she showed her class by blasting a bogey-free five-under 67 to tie for fifth with Sweden's Sarah Nilsson on 13-under-par.
That meant a play-off for the last card and she made no mistake at the 356-yard 10th, hitting a nine-iron to 15 feet before rolling in the putt to give herself more options outside her Symetra Tour status and the promise of LPGA Tour invitations next year.
"I'm delighted," said the Cavan prodigy, who was relieved to see Nilsson lip out before she made her own putt.
"I knew going into the play-off that that one spot would make a huge difference for next year. I'm just delighted that I could birdie it and get that fifth spot.
"I felt like I have been playing well now for a while and it all really clicked and came together nicely these last two weeks when I really needed it the most," she added.
"I could see the leaderboard and people were going low, and I knew I had to keep with them and keep making birdies, so it was nice to post a bogey-free round right when I need it. The Symetra Tour doesn't start until March so I will see what way I am going to go and whether I will hop back and forth."
England's Bronte Law claimed the top card on 26-under-par, a shot ahead of Sweden's Linnea Strom.