Leona Maguire has positioned herself well with an opening 68 at the Andalucia Open de Espana in Spain.

The Cavan golfer sits on five-under-par at the tournament at Alferini Golf, two shots off round one leader England's Cara Gainer.

Coming in off her brilliant second-placed finish at the CME Group Tour Championship on the LPGA Tour, Maguire started her round with four pars on the back nine before getting under par thanks to a birdie at the 14th.

Another would follow at the 17th before a dropped shot at 18 saw her out in 36.


Back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth saw her move up the leaderboard with an eagle on her penultimate hole leaving her in a strong position.

Gainer had a fine round despite two bogeys hurting her card. She had nine birdies in all.

Gainer sits one shot ahead of defending champion Carlota Ciganda, who carded a round of six-under 67 on the first day.

It was a slower start for the Spaniard who rolled in birdies on six and eight before making a double bogey on 11 to take herself back to level par for the round.

But she got on a hot streak on the back nine rolling in six consecutive birdies to put herself firmly near the top of the leaderboard.

"It was really solid round, I committed nicely to my targets," said Maguire. "I drove the ball well, which you have to do out here, and it was nice to get that bonus eagle on eight to come in and finish with some nice momentum.

"I had a fantastic season on the LPGA, it was nice to finish that off with a second place over there and one last event of the year, hopefully I can finish it off strong.

"It's nice to be back in Spain and there were quite a few Irish people out watching today which was nice to have a little home support and my dad is here this week, so it’s nice to have him here too and finish it off as well as I can."