April 16, 2021
Kapolei, Hawaii, USA
Kapolei Golf Club
Q. Leona, what a low round here, really taking advantage of moving day. How are you feeling after day three?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, got off to a really quick start. It was nice to -- I sort of hadn't taken advantage of those first six holes so far the first two days, so nice to get off to a quick start today.
Yeah, holed some nice putts so...
Q. You said the other day that you really like courses that are challenging and that challenge you, but you really made to look easy out there, especially on the front nine. What was working so well as you started the day?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, it was just giving myself lots of chances. I hit some nice iron shots and rolled a few putts. I suppose the big thing this week is taking advantage of the par-5s when you can.
With 7 being moved up today almost made eagle there. And, yeah, it's just a case of giving yourself as many chances on these greens. There are some pins you have to be a little bit safer on and some you have to go straight at them and try and give yourself a chance.
Q. You talked about almost making an eagle and on the back nine making that eagle. Take us what was going through your head.
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, I didn't see it go in. It was a nice number for us. We were sort of debating between a 55 degree and a wedge for me, and just picked up a little bit of wind. And that is what it was doing on the back nine. It was swirling a little bit, it was dropping, it was picking up.
Yeah, hit it exactly where I wanted just right of the flag. I thought it was nice and then Mi Hyang started to cheer, so then I had feeling it went in, which is just a bonus.
Q. You really don't look like a rookie out there. You've had an outstanding amateur career. Been on tour for a year already. You're technically a rookie, but we talked about it earlier, you really feel like you have the experience to boot. Do you feel that after a successful round like this?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, people have been going low here all week. You're just trying to keep up with everybody and make as many birdies as you can. You don't have time to stop and think.
Yeah, no, I feel -- I felt comfortable all week here. I'm really enjoying my first time in Hawaii, which is nice. It's sort of a chill place to be, so trying to take that onto the golf course.
Q. You've had quite a few impressive finishes as of late. Do you think about what was successful there and do you think you've brought that to Hawaii this week?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Absolutely. It's been close for a few weeks. Put some really nice rounds together at ANA a couple weeks ago and didn't really capitalize on that as much as I would've liked.
But played really nice this side of the year and, yeah, put a lot of work in over the off-season. Changed my irons, which have helped a huge amount, given myself a lot more chances.
Picked up a little extra yardage, which is helping too on some holes going in with shorter irons into those front pins, especially.
Yeah, it's all coming together quite nicely.
Q. This course is definitely gettable. We've seen it today; we've seen some pretty low scores throughout this week, so nothing is impossible. Do you think about that when you're starting your final round tomorrow?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I think you just have to keep your foot down and go as low as you possibly can and see where it is at the end of the day. You see people that start off nearly at the cut line and were up near the lead before we tee'd off.
So you know everybody else is going to go low, so you just have to do the same. Can't really be looking around you and you seeing what's going on.
It's just a case of making as many birdies as you possibly can and hopefully maybe pick up an eagle along the way.
Q. When you're close to the lead like you are here, I know you won tournaments before on the Symetra Tour, won them in college, but here on the LPGA, is there any different mindset or preparation that you have when you know you're close to the lead and you could have something within your grasp possibly?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, there is a lot of big players in front of me. Obviously Lydia and Nelly are right there and they've been doing it for a while.
But, no, I mean, it's the same mindset as I had today. Today was moving day. I knew I had to go low to keep up with those ahead and around me. It'll be the exact same tomorrow. Unless they get nasty on us and tuck a few pins.
Yeah, it's really a case of going as low as you possibly can and seeing where it stacks up at the end of the day.
Q. On top of that, I saw you had a little person -- not person, but you had a friend following you around today, a former Blue Devil, Ana Belac. How was that? I mean, you guys are here together. She's now a rookie on tour. How does that make you feel?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, it was great to have her sort of cheering me on out there. She said she was going to come out and I saw her on the 5th hole and birdied that hole, so that was nice.
It's nice to have that little bit of support. I haven't had my family out in -- since we came back from the pandemic, so it's nice to have a familiar face out there cheering you on and clapping for your good shots.
Q. And Anna is technically a rookie just like you.
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah.
Q. Have you been able to give her advice?
LEONA MAGUIRE: I been trying to help her where I can. She also did great on the Symetra Tour last year winning, topping that and getting some status out here.
Trying to help her with whatever tips I can. Technically I'm still a rookie, so I don't know everything either.
Yeah, helping her whatever way I can, same way I did in college when I was a senior and she was an underclassman.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports