KirkwoodGolf: Leona Maguire Holds 36-Hole Lead at Gator Invitational

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Leona Maguire Holds 36-Hole Lead at Gator Invitational

March 11, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. – After 36 holes of action Saturday at the Gator Invitational, Duke University junior Leona Maguire holds a one-stroke lead with a two-under-par, 138, at the 6,002-yard, par 70 Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla.
Maguire, a product of Cavan, Ireland, turned in a one-over-par, 71, in round one Saturday morning and then turned around to collect a two-under-par, 67, in the second round.  She leads by one over Florida's Maria Torres (139) and three strokes over Florida's Taylor Tomlinson (141).  Maguire owns one victory in 2016-17 and five over her career. 
The two-time All-America and current top-ranked amateur golfer in the nation, Maguire opened the day with seven straight pars before suffering a double-bogey on the 158-yard, par three eighth hole.  She responded with two pars and back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th holes to return to even par.  Maguire had a bogey on No. 15 and pars the rest of the way to close round one with a 71.  She hit 11 fairways, 13 greens and rolled 30 putts. 
In round two, Maguire turned in a bogey-free round of three-under, 67, as she rolled in a 10-foot birdie on No. 10, 12-footer on No. 16 and closed by draining a 15-foot birdie on the 385-yard, par four 18th.  For round two, Maguire hit 12 fairways, 15 greens and had 29 putts. 
As a team, Duke was four strokes off the lead following the first round as host Florida shot a 285 and the Blue Devils carded a 289.  The Gators added three more strokes to their lead in the second round as Florida shot a 280 and Duke turned in a 283.  Over the first 36 holes, Florida is at five-over-par, 565, while Duke is seven strokes back with a 572.  Rounding out the top 10 is UCF (579), Campbell (589), Maryland (590), Florida International (595), Clemson (597), Virginia Tech (599), South Florida (601) and Troy (605). 
Junior Gurbani Singh continued her solid play with rounds of 73 and 69 for a two-over-par, 142, which is tied for fourth overall.  Singh, who hails from New Delhi, India, was even par over her first 11 holes in round one, but went through a span of four bogeys over six holes on the back nine on her way to concluding round one with a 73.  She hit 12 greens, 11 fairways and rolled 31 putts. 
Singh turned it around in the afternoon and carded one of only four under-par ledgers in round two as she signed for a one-under-par, 69.  After going even par through 10 holes, Singh notched back-to-back birdies on No. 11 and No. 12 to get to two-under for the afternoon.  She suffered a bogey on No. 13 and then three straight pars, before rolling in another birdie on the 320-yard, par four 17th.  Singh had a bogey on the final hole to conclude the day at 69.  She hit 13 greens, 11 fairways and had 30 putts in the second round. 
A native of Seoul, South Korea, Sandy Choi collected rounds of 73 and 73 on the day and will enter the final day of play tied 12th with a six-over-par, 146.  Choi had a slow start in round one with three bogeys over her first nine holes, but was able to get two strokes back with birdies on No. 12 and No. 14 to get her score to one-over through 14 holes.  She closed with bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes on her way to finishing with a 73.  Choi hit 10 fairways, nine greens and had 29 putts. 
In the second round, Choi had back-to-back bogeys on No. 4 and No. 5, but came back with birdies on No. 8 and No. 11 to return to even par.  She had a tough finish with three bogeys over her final four holes to conclude the day with a 73.  Choi hit nine fairways, 11 greens and had 32 putts over her final 18 holes.
After finishing in the top 10 in three straight tournaments, freshman Ana Belac totaled rounds of 72 and 76 to open at eight-over, 148, which is tied for 21st.  A product of Portoroz, Slovenia, Belac was held to only one birdie over her first 36 holes, which came on the 358-yard, par four No. 1, which was her last hole of her first round. 
Belac had a two-over-par, 72, in round one as she hit 12 greens, seven fairways and had 30 putts.  In her second round, she had a tough start with a double-bogey on her first hole and bogey on her third to start out three-over through three holes.  Belac had eight consecutive pars and then was three-over-par over her next three holes on her way to finishing with a 76.  She hit 10 greens, eight fairways and registered 32 putts. 
In her first tournament back after having her tonsils removed, sophomore Virginia Elena Carta had a 77 in round one as she was limited to only one birdie, which happened on the 522-yard, par five seventh.  Carta collected three birdies in her second round on her way to finishing with a 74.  She is tied 38th overall with an 11-over, 151. 
Junior Lisa Maguire, who is playing as an individual, collected rounds of 77 and 76 and is tied 51st with a 153.  A native of Cavan, Ireland, Maguire had one birdie over her first 36 holes. 
Duke will open the third and final round beginning at 9:15 a.m., with a shotgun start along with Florida and UCF off holes one through four. 
Fans can follow the final round with live scoring via