Leona Maguire To Become First-Ever Irish Solheim Cup Player

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Leona Maguire is set to become the first-ever Irish Solheim Cup player after European captain Caitriona Matthew selected her as a wildcard.

The Cavan native finished 13th at the British Open last weekend in the final tournament before the Solheim Cup qualification window closed.

Maguire has had a strong 2021 season that has seen her break into the top 50 in the world after two second-place finishes and six top-15 finishes in a row in LPGA tournaments.

The 26-year-old reacted to the news on Twitter: “The least Monday Monday of the year! 14year old me had a big dream and it’s been quite the journey since that ‘09 JR Solheim cup but today we made history!! So excited to represent @SolheimCupEuro.”

Maguire is a two-time Olympic golfer and recently represented Team Ireland at Tokyo 2020 alongside Stephanie Meadow.

The former number one amateur golfer in the world finished the Olympics tied-23rd with five other golfers.

Captain Matthews was full of praise for Maguire after selecting her as a wildcard.

“Leona has had a fantastic year this year,” she said. “Obviously she was world number one amateur for a couple of years and it’s maybe just taken her two or three years longer than perhaps others to settle I think as a pro.

“I think she’s got that real grittiness. I think she’s a really good match player, has a great record from the Curtis Cup and played well in the match play [event] in Vegas. I think she’ll be a solid, one of these never-give-up type players.

“It’s the first Irish player, the first Finnish player [Castren]. I think it’s great to see other players from different countries getting on the side.”

The 2021 Solheim Cup takes place at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio from Tuesday, August 31st to Monday, September 6th.

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