Leona Maguire, of the Republic of Ireland, has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal for the third consecutive year as the leading women’s player in the 2017 World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR™).
Maguire, a rising senior at Duke University, enjoyed another excellent season, having won the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship and finishing joint runner-up in the 2017 NCAA Championship individual standings. She also notched three wins in 10 starts in the 2016-17 season and finished in the top six in every event. Maguire, who heled Great Britain and Ireland reclaim the Curtis Cup in June 2016, also earned the Annika Award as the national collegiate player of the year for the second time in her career.
“It’s a huge honor for me,” said Maguire. “To win it once was one thing, but to win it three times is quite a humbling feeling. I know there have been some great names before me, but to have my name on there three times is something very special and something that I am very proud of.”
Maguire was voted the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Player of the Year for 2016-17, the second time she has received the accolade.
She has seven victories from her collegiate career, and finished tied for 21st with 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up Albane Valenzuela, of Switzerland, while representing Ireland in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, one of three amateurs in the 60-player competition. Maguire narrowly missed out on winning the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur in the recent Ricoh Women’s British Open. She missed the cut in last month’s U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. She will round off the season with another major championship appearance in the Evian Championship next month in France.
By winning the McCormack Medal, Maguire is now exempt into next year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek in suburban Birmingham, Ala., and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England. The McCormack Medal is named after Mark H. McCormack, who founded sports marketing company IMG and was a great support of amateur golf.
“Leona deserves huge credit for maintaining such a high level of performance over the last three seasons and is indeed a worthy winner of the McCormack Medal,” said Duncan Weir, The R&A’s Executive Director - Golf Development. “To remain top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking for as long as she has, shows that Leona has a tremendous competitive spirit as well as an excellent all-round game. I would like to congratulate her on the award and wish her well in her final year at college.”
“On behalf of the USGA, our most sincere congratulations to the talented Leona Maguire for earning the esteemed McCormack Medal for the third consecutive year, joining only Lydia Ko, who won in 2011, 2012 and 2013, as a three-time winner,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director of Championships & Governance. “It certainly illustrates her impressive play in high-profile events over an extended time, and, clearly, she is quite deserving of this distinction.”
The World Amateur Golf RankingTM, which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The men’s ranking encompasses more than 2,600 counting events, ranking 6,000 players from 103 countries worldwide. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of more than 1,400 counting events with over 2,700 ranked players from 73 countries worldwide.