November 19, 2022
Naples, Florida, USA
Tiburon Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: What a day, Leona Maguire. 9-under out here at Tiburon Golf Club. I was looking at your stats. 25 putts, but you told me you were hitting it close. Just evaluate that round.
LEONA MAGUIRE: It was just really, really solid. Gave myself a lot of chances, which I've been doing the first two days, but holed a nice birdie putt on the first and just kind of went from there.
Some really nice momentum on the front nine and especially on 8 and 9. To get those four birdies in a row were big. The wind was kind of swirling and gusting at that point, so some really good momentum through there.
Really nice up-and-down on 15 to keep sort of finishing strong. Yeah, holed a nice putt on 16, which was kind of a bonus.
THE MODERATOR: Made five in a six-hole stretch. What was going through your head there?
LEONA MAGUIRE: The hole was looking big, and I was trying to hit it as close as I could. Hit some really nice 5 and 6 hybrids on those few holes at the wind. I was just dialed in today.
My caddie has been talking last two weeks all about patience and patience and they're going to drop. Finally they did today, which was nice.
THE MODERATOR: Considering where you're from, I think I would be remiss not to ask about the wind out here. Does that make it feel like home and make it a little bit easier to score for you?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, you definitely have to be in control of your ball flight, picking your shots.
I think it's nice coming back here a few times. I feel like I've got a better sense each year I've come back here. So, yeah, you just have to take your chances where you get them on certain holes and know which holes that par is a good score. Gave myself a lot of chances and pretty much took nearly all of them.
THE MODERATOR: You haven't made a bogey in 27 holes. I mean, out here that's quite a feat. Just thoughts on that?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I didn't know that. Just trying to hit as many greens as possible, give myself as many chances. It's really tricky to chip around here, and the bunkers are really tricky as well. They've got a lot of sand in them. Just trying to commit to my targets and hit really good solid shots. Yeah, do that for 18 more holes tomorrow.
Q. A little bit of a housekeeping. How long was the putt on 16?
LEONA MAGUIRE: 30 feet.
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, give or take.
Q. I don't want to call it a knuckle ball, but the ball flight off the driver doesn't have a whole lot of spin to it, kind of boring. Do you find that is an advantage on this golf course in general or just when you have the wind like you had today?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah. I mean, it's pretty wide open around here, but any time you can keep the ball low in the wind, take the spin off it, it's definitely an advantage.
I feel like traditionally long hitters have done well around this golf course. I'm not a long hitter by any means, but I feel like I've kind of plotted my way around the course really well and just played to my strengths really.
Q. Tomorrow we're supposed to have rain and maybe 30-mile-an-hour gusts, which is a lovely day in Limerick, but what do you think? Do you feel good about that? Does that give you an advantage?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I liked the weather today. It would be nice if we got another day like this. Yeah, whatever we get tomorrow, we get. It's nice to have made up a lot of ground today. I don't think that's weather you can chase in.
Yeah, we'll just play whatever is in front of us tomorrow and go back to what it was when I was 15, 16 playing at home in Ireland.
Q. You've had a lot of success in match-play, and this could turn into a match-play sort of feel. Which do you prefer, match-play or stroke play?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, I guess they're a little different. It's still a stroke play event. I feel like it's the kind of golf course that you very much have to focus on every single shot you can.
You can't get distracted any way. There is a lot of trickiness to it. So I'm just going to play as well as I possibly can tomorrow. Whatever Lydia does Lydia does. Just like I did today, I didn't really look at leader boards today. Do the same tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.
Q. I know your caddie has been a great help to you. In what way is he the most helpful?
LEONA MAGUIRE: I think he keeps me pretty level. I was getting a little frustrated yesterday when the putts weren't dropping. He was just kind of keep patient, keep patient, they will drop. They did today, which was nice, as I said.
In these winds and these crosswinds, it's nice having someone there that's used to wind as well. I mean, he is from Ireland too. He knows, so a lot of the time picking the right shot and committing to that shot. Definitely helps me commit to my shots out there, which is key.
Q. Speaking of match-play, we heard all year from Scottie Scheffler that part of why he did so well was the Ryder Cup. I'm curious if you look at your being in contention here winning, do you give credit to the Solheim Cup for that? Did that prepare you in any way?
LEONA MAGUIRE: I think the Solheim Cup was a big part of my journey. Yeah, I have a lot to thank to Beanie here for picking me, but I think the biggest thing was confidence, feeling like I belonged on that team playing all five matches doing as well as I did.
I think my game was there. I just didn't know if it was there or not. I feel like I showed that that week, and it gave me a lot of momentum to finish off last year and to get the win early. This year as well was huge.
Q. You look at tomorrow. You say you don't look at leader boards, but tomorrow you'll have her right next to you, right, so there will be a sense of -- with you both having five shots, it will be a sense of a match. What do you think of that now? It's weird question, but does it strike you that tomorrow could be one of the biggest days of your career?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, try not to put it like that (laughing).
LEONA MAGUIRE: When I won earlier in the year, I think me and Marina were quite a few shots ahead. I actually fell behind I think early on that day, so I feel like I'm just going to go out and play as well as I possibly can.
Lydia is an incredible golfer. I have a huge amount of respect for her, and hopefully it's a great battle tomorrow. It will be nice to be the one standing there with the trophy tomorrow. If not, it's been a fantastic season. I just like to finish it off in style.
Q. I know you haven't been in this position before yet going down the stretch with $2 million on the line, but do you anticipate that it will feel like a major or like Sunday at the Solheim?
LEONA MAGUIRE: I mean, any time you're in contention, you want to win. We're all competitive. I'm as competitive as they get.
You want to do your very best, so given that it's the last event of the year, we're not going to have another one for a couple of months, you want to finish it off as well as you possibly can.
Obviously, the $2 million, it's a lot of money. We're very lucky to be playing for that kind of money. So, yeah, try to make the most of the opportunity tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports