Leona Maguire honored as 2017 ANNIKA Award winner

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Leona Maguire honored as 2017 ANNIKA Award winner

Women

Leona Maguire honored as 2017 ANNIKA Award winner

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Leona Maguire put together another remarkable season at Duke, never finishing worse than sixth in 10 starts. She won the ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M for a second time in three years and was honored Saturday evening at 3M’s Innovation Center in front of her peers and the legendary Sorenstam.

Maguire, who is playing in this week’s Windy City Collegiate Classic Oct. 2-3 outside Chicago, delivered her speech via video.

“To the players, this is our award,” said Maguire. “I’m incredibly honored that you thought I deserved this award, and that I earned your respect.”

Maguire, who ended the season No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, won three times in 2016-17. She had a pair of seconds and three third-place finishes. Her postseason included a victory at the ACC Championship and a tie for second at the NCAA Championship.

The Irishwoman’s scoring average of 70.29 was the lowest single-season mark in Division I women’s college golf since Lorena Ochoa posted a 70.13 average of the 2001-02 season.

Maguire previously won the ANNIKA Award as a freshman.

“You’re a legend of the game,” Maguire said to Sorenstam. “For you to put your name to an award like this and invest your time and effort into women’s college golf … it’s very special for all of us to get to compete for an award that has your name on it.”

Sept 30, 2017; St. Paul, MN, USA; Leona Maguire speaks on prerecorded video of the honor of receiving the ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M during the Gala Dinner. (Marilyn Indahl – USA TODAY Sports)

The award, which is voted on by players, coaches and members of the golf media, was introduced in 2014. UCLA’s Alison Lee (2014) and Bronte Law (2016) were the other recipients.

This year’s ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M is being played at Olympic Hills Golf Club in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Sorenstam’s foundation, now 10 years old, hosted junior tournaments in China, Latin America, Europe and the U.S. She hopes to give playing opportunities to juniors in every corner of the world.

Sorenstam, a 10-time major winner, told the 60 players in the room that in a decade’s time, maybe one of them will be standing in the same spot hosting tournaments and inspiring the next generation.

“It’s fun to hit shots; it’s fun to make putts,” said Sorenstam. “I love winning tournaments, if you didn’t notice, but this is even more satisfying …. to be able to give back to the game of golf.”

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