Media playback is not supported on this device Maguire’s hilarious return to battle at Solheim Cup
2018 Solheim Cup Venue: Danetown Golf Resort, Tunturk, Sweden Dates: 12-15 September Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 13-15 September.
Defending champion Leona Maguire is tipped as an Olympic star for 2020 and beyond after a stunning Solheim Cup debut at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
The 26-year-old from Glasgow was WAG-free as she collected the ‘Munty Trophies’ at both the men’s and women’s end of the week.
And she admitted: “I haven’t looked at myself yet as being a serious golfing and sporting all-rounder.
“I’m still buzzing from this. It means a lot. It will be a big highlight for my career.
“Even more so coming from a country without a female team sport player.”
Lee Maguire wore her maiden Solheim Cup medal on the podium
Maguire enjoyed the ride of her life at Le Golf National, ending a “long day” with the European team winning 18-11 to secure the trophy for the fourth time in five editions.
With Dublin-born sister Lindsey playing alongside her in the team, the pair defeated the United States by the same score line for the first time in the event’s history.
But it was the Glasgow-born prodigy – playing her first tournament for seven months – who completed the victory.
An authoritative five-under-par 67 gave her a four-point haul with the help of four eagles, before her 70 at the death left her alone in a three-way tie for seventh.
“I have been dreaming about this for six years. I can’t wait to get it out of the way now,” she told BBC Scotland.
“Winning was probably on top of everything. The excitement of getting back to golf is now even more special for me, but it has really given me the belief in what I can do as a player.
“I was so proud and happy with myself. It doesn’t feel real yet.”
WAG-free factfile: Leona Maguire Playing career International career LPGA, Europe, Korea, home of the European Solheim Cup team International career Most Tour wins (4): 2012 (Korea), 2013 (Sweden), 2016 (Scotland) Best Women’s title (Caroline Wentworth Club GC, 2013): Won Junior Women’s Amateur (2012) Most Selected WAG-free facts: Leona Maguire, born 22 March 1991, finished 13th in the ladies amateur golf championships in both 2014 and 2015. However, she claimed an Open qualifying spot in 2016 and joined the European LPGA in 2014. Philomena Renee is Leona Maguire’s mother.
Only the real deal
Maguire, who has been a champion amateur golfer and victory favourite at the Ladies European Tour events, had never played competitively on the professional stage.
“It’s been a long time coming, it has been a while since I have had to be in the situations that I have been, so this was a whole new experience.
“With the Scots coming here, it’s no easy feat to get on the team,” she added.
“Playing alongside Lindsey – coming from Europe, leading by five at the turn – to be able to win as a first-timer was a great feeling.
“We would love to have more representation on the European Tour so I would hope that some Scottish players can go on and make it here.”
Maguire’s dream is to become world number one
Maguire’s stunning performance of the week is one of the few blemishes on a flawless Solheim Cup campaign – the International team were three-times as strong as the United States.
“To achieve this in my first time ever as a professional on this scale is special,” she said.
“It’s massive. I have always been a bit of a perfectionist and I thought I had to play great to win a medal.
“With the French Open coming up, it could have been an easy week to relax at home but I went out there and played golf, prepared myself well and won a medal. It was a brilliant way to come back from a seven-month break.
“I wanted to leave it all out there out there. I have looked back on the events that have happened to me and said, wow, this is just a part of my journey.
“It’s been a tough period of time but I was determined to come