LET rookie, 24-year-old, Irish golfer Leona Maguire shot an impressive 8-under 64, a course-record in the moonlight at the first-ever Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic, a tournament being played in a day-night format at the Nick Faldo Design – Emirates Golf Club, Dubai.
Maguire carded nine birdies and one bogey, completing her evening round by making a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole under the LED lights set against the glittering Dubai Marina skyline.
“I guess I just need to play at 3 o’clock and then in darkness: that’s the way to go for me,” said Maguire, who spent 135 weeks at the top of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking before she turned professional in June.
“I nearly had a hole-in-one at the eighth with my 7-iron. I was two inches short of winning an Omega watch, and it’s always nice when you hole those kind of shots. It was a real mix of nice putts and tap-ins, which makes it that little bit easier.”
When asked about her playing under the lights for half of her rounds, she said, “I adjusted quite quickly, actually. It was a lot better than I thought. The lights went on when we were on 13 and 14, which were a little tricky and then I played the last four holes really nicely. It seems like night golf suits me. I thought it was great. I can’t really complain. A course record, eight-under-par and I was lucky that we had a good group as well. We had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.
“The 25 footer on 18 was probably the longest putt of the day. I holed long putts for par on one and two and I holed a nice birdie putt on the par 5 third, where I hit it past the pin and there was a lot of break, four or five feet of break, and it snaked in, which got me going.
“I had a 10-under-par 62 in college but this is my lowest round as a pro.”
Olivia Cowan currently follows Leona at -6 and Nuria Itturios, the current LET No.1 at -5.
Diksha Dagar, who won her maiden LET title at the SA Investec Open in South Africa, currently stands T-35 with her score of 74 on Day 1.