Golf

Leona Maguire: 'I Figured I Needed A Change, And Gave Dermot A Call'

Leona Maguire: 'I Figured I Needed A Change, And Gave Dermot A Call'

Leona Maguire says that working virtually with her coach Shane O'Grady has proved to be a challenge in recent times. The 26-year-old Cavan golfer has worked with Galwayman O'Grady - who is based in Ireland - since he was 11.

"The fact that I was away in college for four years at Duke [makes it easier], I'd only see Shane when he'd come over a couple of times in the year, and when I get to come home at Christmas and in the summer," said KPMG ambassador Maguire.

"We'd done a lot of video work before. Obviously, it's not the same as being there in person, and having him there watching every shot that I hit. We've had experience in the past. It's just about making the best of it.

"It's easier when he's face-to-face, and he can notice things. The nice thing is the better I play, the more often I get on telly. The more often I get on telly, he gets to watch. He can notice things. Sometimes, what you do in practice and what you do in tournaments can be a little different. He can keep an eye on things, and send me through things if he notices something."

leona maguire coach shane o'grady caddy dermot byrne

Pictured is KPMG ambassador, Leona Maguire as she launched the third video in KPMG’s Performance Series outlining the importance of setting up a routine, the benefits it can bring and how she maintains focus on her routine, wherever she is in the world. Watch KPMG Performance Series ‘Routines’ video on KPMG Ireland’s Twitter @KPMG_Ireland

During the summer, Maguire brought in Dermot Byrne as her new caddy. Byrne has been a valuable addition to her team.

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Leona Maguire on new caddy Dermot Byrne

"We've had a great partnership," she said.

"I'm incredibly lucky to have Dermot by my side. He hadn't caddied on the LPGA before. I rang him at the last matchplay event in Vegas, when I went head-to-head with Jennifer Kupcho. I'd wasted a four-up lead to finish. I figured that I needed a change, and gave Dermot a call.

"Dermot has been a good friend of my coach Shane for quite a while. He's someone Shane has gone to for advice on caddies in the past. Dermot was working with Shane Lowry for a long time, and also with Julian Suri, who went to Duke as well.

"I knew he had a tremendous record as a caddy. I mentioned it to Shane, and he suggested giving Dermot a call, and I'm glad I did.

"I was fortunate enough that he had the belief in me and felt like it was worthwhile for him to come onboard. He's been a tremendous asset to my team.

"We've worked quite well together. We're quite similar personality-wise. We're both calm and easy-going. We go about our business quietly and clinically. We balance each other out quite well.

"I think he had a lot of fun last week as well [at the Solheim Cup]. It's nice to have another Irish person out there. It's been a lot of fun working with him, and hopefully, we can go from strength to strength in the weeks ahead."

Photo by Brian Spurlock/Sportsfile

See Also: Shane Lowry Friendship Gave Padraig Harrington Ryder Cup Dilemma

leona maguire coach shane o'grady caddy dermot byrne

PJ Browne
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