Leona Maguire in strong field for first Tartan Pro Tour event

Irish star playing in Carnoustie Challenge on Paul Lawrie’s new circuit

Leona Maguire is in the field for this week's Carnoustie Challenge, the first event on Paul Lawrie's new Tartan Pro Tour
Leona Maguire is in the field for this week's Carnoustie Challenge, the first event on Paul Lawrie's new Tartan Pro Tour

Leona Maguire, one of the rising stars in women's professional golf, is heading across the Irish Sea to take on Scotland's top home-based tour players in the inaugural Tartan Pro Tour event.

The 25-year-old from County Cavan, who spent a record 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur golf rankings before turning pro in 2018, has entered this week's Carnoustie Challenge over 36 holes on the championship course at the Angus venue.

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Maguire, who holds a full LPGA Tour card after graduating from the Symetra Tour at the end of last year on the back of two wins, is among 10 women set to take on the men as Paul Lawrie's exciting new circuit gets up and running.

This week’s challenge will be nothing new for Maguire, who has two twice in similar events in Ireland since coming out of lockdown.

She triumphed in a Flogas Irish Scratch Series event for male and female Irish pros and leading amateurs at Seapoint before backing that up with victory earlier this week in a Team Ireland Golf tournament at Mount Juliet.

Maguire, who is in the fields for both the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and the AIG Women's Open at The Renaissance Club and Royal Troon respectively next month, carded rounds of 70-66 for an eight-under total in the second of those successes.

She is being joined in the event taking place next Wednesday and Thursday by two-time LET winner Kylie Henry and 2016 LET Order of Merit winner Beth Allen.

Kelsey MacDonald and Michele Thomson will also be flying the LET flag while Access Series players Gabrielle Macdonald, Hannah McCook, Rachael Taylor, Jane Turner and Heather MacRae are in the field as well.

Lawrie, who recently became the new touring pro attached to Carnoustie Golf Links, will be returning to the scene of his 1999 Open Championship victory to play his part in getting the circuit up running.

Challenge Tour card holders Craig Howie, Daniel Young, Euan Walker, Duncan Stewart and Bradley Neil are joining Lawrie, as are a posse of PGA EuroTour players led by Ryan Campbell, Jack McDonald, Neil Fenwick, Sam Locke, Jamie McLeary and Craig Lawrie, Paul's eldest son.

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Locke will be returning to Carnoustie for the first time since he claimed the Silver Medal as leading amateur in the 2018 Open Championship.

Chris Robb, who gave a good account of himself in the recent Euram Bank Open in Austria, and Kieran Cantley are among the players from both the ProGolf Tour and Alps Tour in the line up.

With this year's Staysure Tour having been scrapped, new card holder Euan McIntosh is set to take up the opportunity to get some competitive action along with Andrew Oldcorn.

A strong Tartan Tour representation will be led by Craig Lee, who is being joined by fellow PGA in Scotland members Thomas Higson, Marc Owenson and Kris Nicol.

The event, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday, will carry a £19,000 prize fund, with the winner picking up £4,000.

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