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January 17, 2023

Leona Maguire

Orlando, Florida, USA

Lake Nona Golf & Country Club

Quick Quotes

Q. You're about to play in your first tournament of the season, Tournament of Champions. How are you feeling this week? What are you looking forward to?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, excited to be here, obviously. This is my home course, so nice to be here. I was here last year just practicing, so that was a goal last year, to be back here for the tournament this year. Yeah, excited to get going. It feels like it's been a very short off-season. Doesn't feel like that long ago since we were at CME. Got some good work done when I was home, and yeah, ready to go.

Q. What kind of work were you doing to prepare for this season, and anything different, new with anything you're doing?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Not hugely. I think because the off-season was so short, I needed a little bit of a break. It was obviously a long year. Just kind of fine tuning everything, getting wedges and all that sort of dialed in, ready to go for the start of the season.

Q. Did you do anything fun during the off-season that you were excited about?

LEONA MAGUIRE: I mean, going home is pretty fun for me these days. It's the longest I get to be home all year.

My sister was home from college. My brother was home from New York. It was nice for all of us to be in one place for a few weeks.

Q. Having been a champion, how excited are you to interact with the celebrities and be a part of this tournament in general?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, it's definitely a cool format. It's very different to any event we play all year. Yeah, I don't know who I'll be playing with yet, but there's obviously a real mix of people from music, sports people, actors, all of that. So yeah, hopefully we'll get a fun group.

Q. Who did you put down on your preference list?

LEONA MAGUIRE: I'm going to be honest, I didn't recognize a lot of the names. A lot of them were American sports people, so I didn't recognize a lot of the names.

Annika would be fun to play with, but outside of that, I wasn't familiar with a lot of the names. I hear Mardy Fish is pretty good. Yeah, we'll see.

Q. Being a home course, this being your home course, do you think you can go out and win it, or hoping your celebrity partners don't drag you down?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, don't want to put too much pressure on yourself, obviously, but I know the spots where to hit it. Doing that, actually hitting it there is another thing. Nice to not have to cram too much prep into the golf course this week, but it's playing quite a bit different than we would normally play it. The greens are running a lot faster, around the greens is shaved. They've set it up like a real -- almost like a major step out there. The rough is up. It's quite a bit different than what we'd normally play on a regular week.

Q. How are you managing expectations this week, maybe some small goals for this week since it's the first event of the season?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, obviously it's a lot earlier than I'd start the season, and then we have a few weeks off after this, so I guess this is a mini-warmup for the rest of the season. Obviously it would be really nice to play well here. But get back into the swing of things, get the competitive juices flowing again, and ultimately give myself as best a chance as possible.

Q. You talked about knowing where to hit it but hitting it there is a different thing. Being your home course and living in this area, does it give you a little bit more of a chance to relax or does it help calm the nerves going into the tournament?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I think it eases off that I don't have to play 18 holes every day this week. I kind of know what to do around here, but at the same time, you also know all the spots where not to be, so sometimes knowing everything isn't a good idea, either. I've tried to treat it as much of a normal tournament as I possibly can, but ultimately you just have to go out and play well, doesn't matter if it's your home course or not.

Q. Can you talk about having gone through the qualifying tour, going through that, like the Road to the LPGA to get here and being here and how that's helped you in your career?

LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I think it was really helpful. I got my card in '19, so won twice out there, and getting used to all the travel and pro-ams and how to make a cut and contend on the weekend and all that. I learned a lot, and it sort of helped ease that transition from amateur or college golf to pro golf without having to go into right of the deep end of the LPGA straight away.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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