Unbeaten Maguire, Furue on to Match Play semis


NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Leona Maguire won two more matches Saturday at Shadow Creek to advance to the semifinals in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play.

The seventh-seeded Maguire, from Ireland, held off American Lindsey Weaver-Wright 3 and 2 to improve to 5-0. Maguire will face Ayaka Furue of Japan, also 5-0 after a 2 and-1 victory over third-seeded Celine Boutier of France.

In the other semifinal Sunday morning, Linn Grant of Sweden will face Pajaree Anannarukarn of Thailand. Grant beat Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland 3 and 1, and Anannarukarn edged Carlota Ciganda of Spain 3 and 2.

Maguire won the 2022 LPGA Drive On Championship in Florida for her lone LPGA Tour title. She beat Perrine Delacour 5 and 3 in the round of 16.

“Really happy to get through 36 holes today,” Maguire said. “It’s nice to be in the semifinal. Played some really solid golf today. A little scrappy maybe this afternoon, but knew it was going to be a battle out there and it was just a case of staying patient. Yeah, did enough to make it to tomorrow.”

Furue, seeded sixth, turned 23 on Saturday. She won the 2022 Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open for her lone LPGA Tour title.

“Just happy to win today,” Furue said. “It was really difficult and tough match today, two rounds.”

The eighth-seeded Grant is winless on the LPGA Tour. The Swede starred at Arizona State.

“It’s stressful to play match play,” Grant said. “You get so happy when you get that win, and right now I’m just really very happy and excited for tomorrow.”

Anannarukarn, seeded 36th, won the 2021 ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland for her only LPGA Tour title.

“Just try to stay in the present moment,” Anannarukarn said. “That’s what I’ve been doing well and I’m glad that I was able to focus on that.”

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