Golf

Leona Maguire's Father Hails Impact Of New Caddy

Leona Maguire's Father Hails Impact Of New Caddy

On Monday evening, family gathered at the Maguire home in Cavan to watch the final day of the Solheim Cup.

Leona Maguire - daughter of Breda and Declan - had already reached hero status in the competition over its first two days as she helped Team Europe win three-and-a-half points. Her star rose further in the single matches, as she easily defeat Jennifer Kupcho 5&4.

"My mum, she's 94," Declan Maguire told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

"She's Leona's biggest fan. She was here, and she was in her element.

"It was one of those nights that you dream will happen, but you think it's never going to happen."

On Sunday, while Leona was winning a half point in the fourballs with Mel Reid, Declan Maguire was himself involved in sporting action. He managed the Maguires's local GAA club Drumlane in the Cavan Intermediate Football Championship as they lost 1-14 to 0-12 to Butlersbridge at Kingspan Breffni Park.

Declan Maguire said his daughter's success has been "a long time coming". He paid tribute to the many people who have helped her reach this level, and noted the impact which bringing in Shane Lowry's former bagman, Dermot Byrne, as her caddy has had.

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"There’s a lot of work gone in," he said.

"I’d have to pay massive credit to [her coach] Shane O’Grady – the work he’s done with her since she was 11 years of age, it’s brought her to where she is in her career.

"There's been a lot of people there in the background. Strength and conditioning coach Joe O'Connor. Her physio Julie Anne Ryan. [Her nutritionist] Sharon Madigan.

"Leona had to put in the hard graft too, especially over Covid and the last 12 months. It’s been a tough journey but it’s been well worth it. She was on a total high last night when we were chatting to her.

"We made a couple of changes earlier in the year, Leona took on Dermot Byrne as her caddy, who has been absolutely tremendous with her," he said.

"Just shortly before that she played Kupcho in a matchplay event and was five up and it ended up an all-square match at the end.

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"Leona paid credit to Dermot last night, that he kept her focused the whole way through and there was no way she was going to let that lead slip last night.

"[Her twin sister] Lisa has also been there, she’s given up her whole summer holidays to be out there with Leona and it just shows her upturn in fortunes, between Dermot and Lisa being there and supporting her the whole way.

"I want to pay credit to Lisa for that."

Photo by Brian Spurlock/Sportsfile

See Also: The US Media Reaction To Leona Maguire's MVP Performance

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PJ Browne
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