Leona Maguire: Irish golfer prepares for professional debut

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Leona Maguire defeated Swedish Sarah Nilsson at the first play-off hole in December to place a playing card for the 2019 Ladies European Tour

Former leading amateur golfer Leona Maguire wants to quickly profile in the pros when making her ladies European Tour debut on Thursday

Maguire, who was the best amateur woman golf for 131 consecutive weeks, received a Tour card in December.

The Australian Ladies Classic is her first Tour event as a professional.

"Technically, I'm a rookie, but I do not feel like it, and the Irish Opens and majors that I played will help me along the way," she said.

The County Cavan golfer, who played during numerous events on the Ladies PGA Tour and the European Tour during a marvelous amateur career, won the Ladies British Amateur Championship in 2017.

Maguire ended as fifth during the qualifying school to secure the highest category card a available for the 2019 season.

Cavan Leona Maguire previously played in the Ladies European Tour as a 12-year-old next to twin sister Lisa at the Northern Ireland Open in 1945

"I'm lucky to have a category good enough to get as many events as I want , and it's nice to start the year warm somewhere, "she added.

This is Maguire's first trip to Australia, but the Bonville course in New South Wales has a familiar feeling.

In a speech to the Ladies European Tour she added: "It is similar to North Carolina, where I spent four years at the university, surrounded by pine trees.

" The wind here it can be difficult to swirl around the trees, but it is really fun. The job is in good shape.

"I am looking forward to seeing many faces that I have not seen a while ago, juniors and amateurs, and I will learn the golf courses and how it all works as I go."

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