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June 18, 2021

Leona Maguire

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Blythefield Country Club

Quick Quotes

Q. Leona Maguire, another solid performance, 8-under 64. Started off bogey-free on your opening nine, which was the back nine. Let's start with that. 5-under 31 to get you rolling out of the gates.

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I got off to a really nice start again today. It's always nice to start with a birdie. Made a really good up and down on 11 to keep the momentum going.

Two really good birdies on 12 and 13.

Just kept giving myself chances and holed some really nice putts as well. Struggled a little. Hit two bad drives on 10 and 11, but other than that felt like I played really, really solid all day.

Q. Bogeys at 1 and 2 when you made the turn, and then you quickly erased those coming in in with birdies at 4, 6, 9, and then an eagle at 8. Take us through the eagle at 8.

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, hit a really nice drive and we were kind of in between clubs. Absolutely flushed a 5-hybrid. Went way further than I thought and pitched pin high and stayed on the green and holed a really nice putt for eagle.

And another really nice putt on 9. That pin was really tucked. Just tried to be disciplined. Played 30 feet right of the hole and took my chance.

Q. Looked like -- 4-under through the final four holes, but looked like you were going to be pretty tight tied for the lead or maybe one shot up. How nice to feel that final four holes kind of give you a little bit of cushion heading into the weekend?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, everybody is going low. You know you have to go low. There is not really time to look around or even look behind. It's sort of keep your foot down and keep going, make as many birdies as you can.

I didn't feel like I took advantage of the par-5s as well today a yesterday, so it was a nice bonus to get the eagle on 8 coming in.

Q. How do you make sure you're not thinking too much about the fact that you have the lead and just stay focused on what you need to do tomorrow?

LEONA MAGUIRE: I mean, like I said, everybody is going low, so you are just trying to make as many birdies as possible.

You can't really protect a lead. You can't just try and make pars and stuff. You have to sort of go for everything. You have to hit a lot fairways out here. It's tough when you get in the rough. I knew all about that on 1 and 2.

So a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, and hopefully I can keep the putter hot over the weekend.

Q. Is it nice to at least create a little bit of separation there with the eagle and the birdie to finish?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, every one helps. Was really proud of how I came out today. Last week in San Francisco was leading after day one and struggled on day two, so it was nice to put a really good number back to back in rounds one and two and even go one better today.

So, yeah, it was really nice sort of building on that momentum going into the weekend.

Q. Uncharted territory for you. Right in contention. You have those two bogeys back to back. How do you not fold? What was going on in your head after that knowing that I got to keep going here to make sure I'm still in it?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I think this golf course you have to be just really patient and trust that there is going to be chances. I knew there was two par-5s coming up on the back nine that hopefully I could birdie and maybe pick up a few more coming in.

My caddie Dermott, that's just what he reinforced in me. You're playing good golf. Get back to fairways and greens and we'll take our chances coming in.

Q. You said yesterday this place felt like home a little bit in terms of where you're from. Does that sort of help you in terms of -- or are we just making stuff up here -- does that sort of help you knowing it does feel familiar?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I think any time you're comfortable out on the golf course it definitely helps. Felt pretty much at home this week. Bit warmer today I think than it is in Ireland, but maybe the rain this morning reminded me a bit more of home.

Yeah, but I like the golf course. It suits my eye. Hopefully it'll -- I'll keep liking it over the weekend.

Q. Last but not least, just kind of compare and contrast. I know you didn't play in the morning, but a lot people were saying the course played longer in the morning. What was your sense how that changed the way the game was played a little bit?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean. I'm sure the course was maybe a little softer in the morning, but we got more wind than they did and it was swirling, gusting a little bit. So I don't know which I prefer.

Yeah, I mean, either way you just knew you had to shoot a good score. I knew there were some low ones out there this morning. When I looked at the leaderboard before I went out I had gone from 1 to 15th I think, so I knew I had to start picking up some ground early regardless of how windy it was to get some birdies on the board.

Q. I know you obviously went to Duke for school. Lindy who is now in third place went to Duke. I don't know if you were on the team at the same time. What's that relationship like, and what's it like going toe to toe with another Blue Devil?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, we just missed each other at Duke, but we're both members at Lake Nona so we practice and play together quite a bit. Yeah, she's been a good friend of mine, and it'll be nice to go head-to-head with her down the stretch this weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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