Duke University third-year student Leona Maguire has been named the winner of the PING Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) National Player of the Year.

Maguire earns the award for the second time in three years and becomes just the fifth collegiate golfer to earn the award multiple times.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” commented Maguire. “It is a special award to win. To get the vote of the coaches to say that I was the best player in college golf this year, it is a very humbling feeling and something I am very proud of.”

A native of Cavan, Ireland, Maguire collected one of the best stroke averages in NCAA history this past season with a 70.29 ledger. It was the lowest since Lorena Ochoa collected a 70.13 stroke average in the 2002 campaign. Maguire broke her own Duke and ACC record from her freshman campaign of 70.78.

Over 10 events in 2016-17, Maguire registered eight top five placements, three victories, nine rounds in the 60s and 21 rounds of even or under par. She finished no lower than tied sixth over the course of the season.

Maguire won the ACC Individual Championship, while helping the Blue Devils claim Duke’s 20th ACC title in school history.

She finished runner-up at the NCAA Championship, won the LSU Tiger Golf Classic and the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. 

Recognized annually as the top honour in women's collegiate golf, the PING WGCA Player of the Year Award is awarded to the best player in Division I, II and III women's golf.

The award was first given in 1987 and the names of recipients’ read as a who's who of the best of the ladies game including Blue Devil alumna Amanda Blumenherst (3-time), Lorena Ochoa (2-time) and Annika Sorenstam. The recipient is selected by a prestigious collection of women’s collegiate golf coaches who follow criteria that has been established to identify the finest player for the past year.

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