|-25 N Korda (US); -23 L Maguire (Ire); -21 B Altomare (US), I-G Chun (Kor); -20 A Nordqvist (Swe); -18 G Hall (Eng), L Salas (US), A Ewing (US), L Stephenson (US)|
|Selected others: -17 I-B Park (Kor); -16 C Hull (Eng); -15 L Thompson (US); -14 J Korda (US); -8 L Ko (NZ)|
Irish woman Leona Maguire’s attempt to earn a first LPGA win fell just short as Nelly Korda clinched a two-shot win at the Meijer Classic in Michigan.
Maguire, 26, carded a six-under-par 66 to finish on 23 under but the US player’s 67 proved enough to hold on.
Trailing Korda, 22, by three after the third round, Maguire quickly drew level thanks to three early birdies.
The pair remained level at the turn but Korda birdied the 10th and 11th to take a lead that she didn’t relinquish.
Korda’s eagle on the par-five 14th and birdie at the next increased her advantage to three but it was cut to a solitary shot when the American bogeyed the 16th as Maguire holed a 10-foot birdie putt.
However, Korda’s closing birdie secured her fifth LPGA victory and second of 2021 after her win in the Gainbridge event in February.
Maguire went into the event 20th in this year’s LPGA rankings and her latest fine performance – after finishing in a share of second place at the Lotte Championship in April – will increase her prospects of earning a spot in the Europe team at this season’s Solheim Cup.
Opening rounds of 65 and 64 gave the Cavan player a three-shot advantage at the halfway stage in Michigan but Korda’s magnificent 62 on Saturday saw her move three ahead as Maguire could only manage a 70 in the penultimate round.
Another American Brittany Altomare and South Korea’s In-Gee Chun shared third place, four behind Korda, with England’s Georgia Hall finishing tied sixth on 18 under after a closing 68.
Hall’s compatriot Charley Hull lost ground on the final day as a 70 left her sharing 15th on 16 under.