Leona Maguire shrugged off a poor start to move into contention after day one of the KPMG Women's Irish Open at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.

After a bogey on the first hole, Maguire shot seven birdies to finish just two strokes off leaders Alexandra Swayne and Lina Boqvist after a five-under-par round of 67.

The 27-year-old Cavan woman, ranked 18th in the world, misjudged a chip-shot beside the first green and while she holed a 20-foot putt for birdie on the par three 3rd, another bogey on the 5th left her over par and trailing the lead by seven strokes with 13 holes remaining.

From then on though she settled well, reeling off three birdies in-a-row from the 6th to the 8th as her putter made up for some far from perfect driving off the tee. She then patiently waited for her chances in the knowledge that the closing four holes offered plenty of them.

After driving the green on the short par four 15th, Maguire two-putted for birdie and then she also picked up shots on the par-five 16th and 18th holes to move into the top ten and in a tie for sixth place, just two behind the leaders Boqvist of Sweden and Swayne of the US Virgin Islands, both of whom shot seven-under-par 65s.

Aideen Walsh has a chance to make the cut

"It was a little scrappy in places today. I didn't drive it as I would have liked but putted really nicely and I took advantage of the shorter holes out there and it was really nice to finish with three birdies in the last four for some good momentum tomorrow," Maguire said afterwards.

Ennis schoolteacher Aideen Walsh, who is a member of Dromoland, was the only other Irish player to break par on day one with a round of 71, including 17 pars and a final hole birdie, which leaves her tied for 44th place and in with a real chance of making the halfway cut.


It was also a good day for another amateur player, 16-year-old Marina Joyce Moreno from Northern Ireland who had a hole-in-one on the 13th with a six iron from 155 yards.