Leona Maguire headlines gamers to observe at ISPS Handa World Invitational, the place women and men will compete for an equal purse

Leona Maguire will compete in entrance of Irish followers at an LPGA occasion for the primary time since turning into the primary Irishwoman to win on tour final February on the LPGA Drive On Championship. The president of Eire referred to as her after the historic second.

The 27-year-old Maguire is the highest-ranked participant within the area on the ISPS Handa World Invitational after transferring as much as No. 17 following her T-4 end on the AIG Ladies’s British Open, the very best main end of her profession.

The ISPS Handa World Invitational is a co-sanctioned occasion between the DP World Tour, Women European Tour and LPGA. There will probably be 132 males and 132 ladies competing in two separate 72-hole stroke play tournaments (one for males and one for ladies) on the Galgorm Citadel and Massereene Golf Membership in Ballymena, Northern Eire. For the primary two rounds, all gamers will play one spherical on every course.

The overall purse of $3 million will probably be break up evenly between the women and men at $1.5 million every.

Listed below are six LPGA gamers to observe this week in Northern Eire:

Leona Maguire

Galgorm, Northern Eire – AUGUST 10: Leona Maguire of Eire throughout a press convention previous to the ISPS Handa World Invitational introduced by AVIV Clinics at Galgorm Citadel and Massereene Golf Golf equipment on August 10, 2022 in Co Antrim, Northern Eire. (Picture by Oisin Keniry/Getty Pictures)

The marks the second version of the ISPS Handa World Invitational, co-sanctioned by the LPGA, DP World Tour and LET. Final 12 months Leona Maguire was unable to take part resulting from a schedule battle with the Tokyo Olympics.

With no Irish gamers on the LPGA, rising up, Maguire mentioned she adopted Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley at Irish Opens and Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry in later years. Having an LPGA occasion in Northern Eire for younger individuals to come back out in individual is critical, she mentioned, noting that she had posters on her wall as a child of well-known athletes she’d met.

“It is massive to have a house occasion,” mentioned Maguire. “I feel you see with the Lionesses successful final week at Wembley, 89,000 individuals had been there watching that, and that is going to encourage a era of younger women.

“I feel once you see it on TV it is one factor. If you see it in individual it brings it to a different degree, whether or not it is getting an image or an autograph or a golf ball or no matter it’s.”

Lucy Li

Lucy Li performs her tee shot on the sixteenth gap in the course of the second spherical of the 77th US Ladies’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Membership on June 03, 2022 in Southern Pines, North Carolina. (Picture by Jared C Tilton/Getty Pictures)

Former youngster prodigy Lucy Li is in Northern Eire on a sponsor exemption. Li leads the Epson Tour cash listing and has locked up her card for the 2023 LPGA season. She additionally has an exemption into the upcoming CP Ladies’s Open later month in Ottawa.

A two-time winner on the Epson Tour this season, Li leads the qualifying tour in scoring at 69.39, birdies (156) and rounds within the 60s (20).

“I feel it is simply vital to type of maintain doing what I am doing,” mentioned Li, “even when the stage is slightly bit totally different. I feel that is actually vital, simply to say in the meanwhile and belief my recreation.”

Lin Grant

Linn Grant of Sweden in motion throughout Day 4 of the Volvo Automobile Scandinavian Combined Hosted by Henrik & Annika at Halmstad Golf Membership on June 12, 2022 in Halmstad, Sweden. (Picture by Naomi Baker/Getty Pictures)

Sweden’s Linn Grant grew to become the primary lady to win a DP World Tour occasion final June on the co-sanctioned Volvo Automobile Scandinavian Combined.

Grant, 22, crushed the sector of women and men by 9 strokes with a closing 64. The closest lady completed 14 again.

This week, after all, the women and men are competing in separate fields for 2 trophies. Nonetheless, Grant, who posted a top-20 eventually week’s Ladies’s British Open, likes having women and men competing on the similar property.

“I get pleasure from these occasions,” she mentioned. “I do know everybody would not. I simply assume it is enjoyable to have one thing new, type of push golf in a distinct route than what it has been.

“Simply, I imply, see either side of golf and type of get a comparability.”

Olivia Mehaffey

Olivia Mehaffey appears on throughout a apply spherical previous to the Volvo Automobile Scandinavian Combined Hosted by Henrik & Annika at Halmstad Golf Membership on June 07, 2022 in Halmstad, Sweden. (Picture by Naomi Baker/Getty Pictures)

Final 12 months Northern Eire’s Olivia Mehaffey made her LPGA debut on house soil along with her father Philip watching each shot. Philip, stricken with terminal most cancers, hadn’t gotten away from bed in months, however that did not cease him from having a motorized scooter delivered to his home within the small village of Scarva, about 50 minutes from the match web site.

Philip placed on six layers and a wooly cap and launched into what he’d later name the very best week of his life. He died on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, at age 59.

“That is the final time my dad received to see me play,” mentioned Mehaffey, “and that to me will at all times be extraordinarily particular. The actual fact he even made it round all 4 rounds is exceptional for me.

“I feel that makes me blissful, however it’s been robust. Clearly you by no means know the way you are going to deal with these items. I really feel like at the beginning of the 12 months I attempted to cover behind golf slightly bit and type of caught as much as me the place I did not take any time to give attention to myself and to heal. I feel it is one thing I am nonetheless working by means of and attempting to navigate, and clearly my world could be very totally different. Being right here undoubtedly makes me very blissful. I’ve a smile on my face and a few good reminiscences.”

Maya Stark

Maja Stark of Sweden performs her second shot on the 2nd gap throughout Day Two of the AIG Ladies’s Open at Muirfield on August 05, 2022 in Gullane, Scotland. (Picture by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Pictures)

Maja Stark, a four-time winner on the LET, leads the race to Costa del Sol. The previous Oklahoma State standout from Sweden has eight top-10 finishes in 14 begins on the LET this season. She completed forty first on the AIG Ladies’s British Open, stumbling in with a closing 79.

Emma Talley

Emma Talley of America tees off on the third gap on day one in every of The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Membership on July 21, 2022 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Picture by Stuart Franklin/Getty Pictures)

Emma Talley thought of her playoff loss in Northern Eire to Pajaree Anannarukarn fairly a bit final 12 months. It damage, however on the similar time, the runner-up end, a career-best, additionally secured her card and reminded the previous US Ladies’s Am champ that she belongs.

“I’m staying on the similar place I did final 12 months,” mentioned Talley. “I received to know the employees and the workers there, and I did not know if they’d acknowledge me, and yesterday after I walked in they had been like, ‘She’s again!’ In order that was type of cool, like to only see everybody there.

“I imply, the golf course appears unimaginable. Climate is rather a lot higher this 12 months. Very excited to be again. Hopefully treats me properly.”

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Story initially appeared on GolfWeek

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