'This Is Uncharted Territory For Me' - Leona Maguire Leads Women's PGA Championship At Halfway Stage

Maguire fired a three-under second round to sit ahead of a number of big names

Leona Maguire hits her tee shot and watches the flight of the golf ball
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At last week's Meijer LPGA Classic, Leona Maguire carded a stunning finish to pick up her second LPGA Tour title. At the second women's Major of the year, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, the 28-year-old has carried over that form and is sitting top of the leaderboard after 36 holes.

Having never held a lead at a Major championship, Maguire claimed that it "is uncharted territory", but the Irishwoman remains positive, claiming that "whatever happens this week, I'm sure I'll learn a lot, and just sort of taking it one day at a time."

Leona Maguire lines up a putt

Maguire has three top 10 finishes in Major championships

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I think this golf course demands that," stated Maguire, whose best finish at a Major was tied-fourth in the 2022 AIG Women's Open. "I think you can't think more than one shot ahead, let alone a hole or a round ahead. Just really taking it shot by shot and trying to hit as good a shot as I can."

Firing a first round 69, Maguire backed it up with a three-under 68 to lead Mel Reid, Celine Borge and Xiyu Lin by a single shot going into the weekend. Talking about her round on Friday, Maguire said: "(I'm) really happy with how I played today. Weather was a little bit trickier today, especially sort of on the back nine when that sort of rain came in. 

"I think we were just glad we got finished. I think we've been pretty blessed with the weather the last two days. Similar to yesterday, played really well. Gave myself a lot of chances. Didn't really hole any putts on the front side. But nice to get those three birdies coming in."

Mel Reid watches on in a white hoodie

Reid's best finish in a Major came in the 2019 Women's PGA Championship (T3)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A number of Major winners are in contention at Baltusrol GC, with Minjee Lee, Jin Young Ko and Brooke Henderson all within four shots of Maguire. "I feel like my game has sort of taken over from last week," explained Maguire. "I'm very comfortable with how I'm hitting it, picking my targets and committing to those.

"I think the big thing today was staying really patient given that we were in a two, jam-packed in a field that wasn't really moving. Did a good job at sort of staying -- concentrating and sort of warm when I needed to. It kind of kept the momentum going."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x