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Leona Maguire fires 64 to land long-awaited Meijer LPGA Classic title

The third time was the charm for Irishwoman Leona Maguire, who stormed from behind with a final-round, 8-under-par 64 to win the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday in Belmont, Mich.

Maguire's bogey-free day at Blythefield Country Club heated up on the back nine, where she shot a sparkling 6-under 30 and moved ahead for good with birdies on the final three holes. That was enough for her to reach 21-under 267 and beat out Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn (64 Friday) by two shots.

Maguire lost in a playoff to Jennifer Kupcho at the 2022 Meijer LPGA Classic and finished second in 2021.

"I feel like I've taken different things from both years and I've been playing some really good golf heading into this week and just trying to be patient," Maguire said on the CBS broadcast. "It was nice to go bogey-free on Sunday. My goal was to get to 20 under."

Once the world's No. 1 amateur player, the now 28-year-old landed her second career LPGA victory.

After birdieing the two par-3s on the front nine (Nos. 5 and 7) and knocking in another birdie at the par-3 13th, Maguire reached the green in two at the par-5 14th and had around 8 feet for an eagle that tied her for the lead, 18 under at the time.

Maguire stuck her approaches at the par-4 16th and 17th holes inside 10 feet for the go-ahead birdies. She gave herself some insurance with a birdie 4 at the par-5 last.

Third-round leader Amy Yang of South Korea, who opened the tournament with three straight 67s, posted a 69 Sunday and fell into a tie for third at 18 under with China's Xiyu Lin (68). Hyo Joo Kim of South Korea (69) placed fifth at 16 under.

Kupcho shot a third straight 69 and tied for sixth at 15 under with Thailand's Jasmine Suwannapura (66). Kupcho carded a hole-in-one at the par-3 fifth hole and found herself in the lead as a result.

She birdied the next two holes to get to 17 under but faded on the back nine with three bogeys and one birdie.

"I kind of went into today thinking if I shot 7-under that would leave me at 19, give me a pretty good shot at possibly a playoff," Kupcho said. "So didn't really matter how I got there. That's really all I was focusing on."

The Meijer LPGA Classic was the last tournament before the next major on the women's golf schedule, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship from June 22-25 at Baltusrol in Springfield, N.J.

"You have to play really good golf to win out here," Maguire said. "It's tough, so it's a really nice feeling to get this one and especially heading into the majors that we've got coming up."

--Field Level Media