Leona Maguire has decided to give up the chance to make her amateur swan song in June’s Curtis Cup and has targeted the U.S. Women’s Open for her professional debut.
The 23-year-old Duke University senior informed Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup captain Elaine Farquharson-Black on Tuesday that she will be a professional before GB&I take on the United States at Quaker Ridge in Scarsdale, N.Y., from June 8-10. The GB&I Curtis Cup team will be named next week.
“Elaine was obviously disappointed,” explained Maguire, who helped GB&I to victory in her third Curtis Cup appearance at Dun Laoghaire in 2016.
“She’d love to have her strongest team going there in June but she understood that I have to take this next step in my career.
“I have been waiting a long time to turn pro and at this point I am ready to go.”
Maguire is slated to compete in a U.S. Women’s Open sectional qualifier in North Carolina on May 15. If she qualifies, she plans to play as a professional in the U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama from May 31-June 3, which is the week before the Curtis Cup.
She subsequently plans to mix LPGA Tour invitations with appearances on the second-tier Symetra Tour.
“I will be playing catch up on the Symetra Tour as it is,” said Maguire, who earned Symetra Tour status via a T9 finish in the second stage of LPGA Tour Q-School last fall. “I’ll have already missed seven events so I’d like to get out there and get started at it as soon as my college career is over.”
Currently second in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Maguire has achieved almost all her amateur goals bar the NCAA team title.
“To win the NCAAs would be the cherry on top so I am going into these last few events trying to top it all off as well as I can,” she said, targeting NCAA Championships, which conclude in Oklahoma on May 23, as the perfect place to bow out of the amateur game.
Maguire broke Lydia Ko’s record for weeks as the No. 1 player on the World Amateur Golf Ranking in February before being overtaken last month by American Lilia Vu. Maguire held the top spot for a total of 135 weeks.