Duke University’s Leona Maguire has been named the PING WGCA Player of the Year, the organization’s highest player honor for 2016-17.
Recognized annually as the top honor 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 reads as a who's who of the best of the ladies game including 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. This criteria include:
· Head to head competition
· Comparison with common opponents
· Scoring average
· Place finishes in regular season events and tournament wins
· Strength of schedule
A native of Cavan, Ireland, Maguire broke her own school record to post an NCAA-best 70.29 stroke average while notching eight top five finishes, including a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships. In 10 tournaments this season, she never finished lower than sixth place. She had three tournament victories during the season, including the ACC Championships where she helped lead Duke to its 20th team title. Maguire netted 21 rounds of even or under par and nine in the 60's over the course of the season, and her stroke average is the lowest in a single season since Lorena Ochoa’s average of 70.13 in 2002.
Maguire becomes just the fifth player in history to win the award multiple times, and is the first since 2008 when Blumenherst won her third straight PING WGCA Player of the Year honor.
About the Women’s Golf Coaches Association
The Women’s Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women’s collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents over 600 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent.
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