The Maguire twins are off to a strong start in the professional ranks before they’ve even hit shot. Leona (white hat above) and Lisa (blue hat) Maguire have become the first Irish players to sign with Modest! Golf, a management company started by compatriot Niall Horan of the band One Direction.
The recent Duke grads are making their professional debuts this week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey, where both are competing on sponsor exemptions. And while many were surprised that Leona in particular stayed all four years at Duke, the decision to wait certainly didn’t impact the level of top sponsors the 23-year-old sisters were able to land. The impressive list of includes KPMG, Allianz, Puma Golf clothing and Ping.
“I’m thrilled and very proud that Leona and Lisa have become the first Irish players to sign with the Modest! Golf management stable,” Horan said in a release. “They’ve both represented Ireland at junior and senior amateur level with distinction and we’re confident that they’ll take the professional LPGA circuit in their stride and raise the profile of Irish golf even further.”
Leona and Lisa will join likes of Phil Mickelson, Stacy Lewis, Ireland’s Paul Dunne, and recent four-year college standouts Maverick McNealy and Mariah Stackhouse as KPMG brand ambassadors. Both sisters will wear the KPMG logo on the front of their hats.
“It’s a huge honor and a privilege to sign with a firm that is so globally recognized and reflective of our personal values like KPMG,” said Leona Maguire. “A lot of amateurs making the jump to the pro game struggle with getting sponsors. To have a sponsor like KPMG believe in both Lisa and me is a huge confidence boost.”
Leona won 10 times at Duke, including three ACC titles. She was twice named winner of the ANNIKA Award Presetned by 3M as national collegiate player of the year and the WGCA National Player of the Year award (2015, 2017). She holds the record for most weeks at No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (135), breaking the mark set by Lydia Ko. She also holds the record for career scoring average in Division I golf at 70.93.
Lisa’s 16 amateur titles include victories at the European Ladies Amateur Championship and Spanish Ladies Amateur in 2011. In addition to her contributions to Duke’s overall team success, she also competed internationally in the Junior Solheim Cup and Curtis Cup.
“It has been great to see both Lisa and Leona representing Irish amateur golf so well over many years,” said Rory McIlroy in statement. “I wish them the very best as they make their professional debuts this week at the Shoprite Classic and I look forward to watching their careers unfold.”