ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND and FAR HILLS, N.J. (Aug. 20, 2015) – Ireland’s Leona Maguire has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading women’s player in the 2015 World Amateur Golf RankingTM.
Maguire has enjoyed an outstanding season, which she came close to rounding off with a victory in a professional event on the Ladies European Tour when she finished one shot behind the winner, Beth Allen, at last month’s ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club.
The 20-year-old, who attends Duke University in Durham, N.C., has won three events this season: the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, the ACC Championship and the NCAA South Bend Regional. In May, she received the 2015 ANNIKA Award as the best golfer in American women’s college golf.
Maguire was the leading qualifier after the stroke play stage of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland, where she reached the last 16. In June, she was part of the Great Britain and Ireland team which lost to their continental European counterparts in the Vagliano Trophy at Malone Golf Club and was undefeated, securing 3 ½ points out of 4.
The R&A and United States Golf Association (USGA) award recognizes Maguire’s outstanding performances this year and is named after Mark H. McCormack, who founded sports marketing company IMG and was a great supporter of amateur golf.
“It’s a huge honor to win the Mark H. McCormack Medal,” said Maguire. “To be able to call myself the best female amateur in the world is a nice feeling. In the last few years a lot of big names have won it and they have gone on to do great things in the game. It caps a fantastic year for me and it is rewarding after all the hard work I have put in and my family as well.”
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “I would like to congratulate Leona on her performances in what has been a tremendous season. To secure three victories in such a competitive environment as collegiate golf is a great achievement but to go on and come so close to winning a professional event is remarkable. Leona is a hugely talented golfer and an extremely worthy winner of the McCormack Medal.”
John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director, Rules, Competitions & Amateur Status, said, “On behalf of the USGA, it gives me great pleasure to extend our congratulations to Leona for winning the McCormack Medal. Her outstanding play throughout the season in NCAA competition, as well in both the amateur and professional ranks, makes her a very deserving recipient. We look forward to following Leona in the future.”
The World Amateur Golf RankingTM, which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The men’s ranking encompasses more than 2,300 counting events, ranking more than 6,000 players from 96 countries worldwide. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of more than 1,370 counting events with over 2,940 ranked players from 71 countries worldwide.
The World Amateur Golf RankingTM, which comprises a women’s ranking and a men’s ranking for elite amateur players, is offered by The R&A and the United States Golf Association as a global service to golf. Through incorporation and assessment worldwide of both amateur and professional events, WAGRTM encourages the international development of the competitive game. The ranking endeavors to be the most comprehensive and accurate ranking in golf by effectively comparing players from around the world who may never directly compete against one another. It is available to national federations and organizers of amateur and professional events and tours as a criterion for tournament field selection and for purposes of exemptions, national team selection, and orders of merit.
The Mark H. McCormack Medal
The award is named after Mark H. McCormack, the late founder of sports marketing company IMG and an avid supporter of amateur golf. The women’s Mark H. McCormack Medal is awarded to the player ranked number one in the World Amateur Golf RankingTM after the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship or the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship, whichever concludes the last. Established in 2007, the same award goes to the player leading the men’s ranking after the European Amateur Championship or U.S. Amateur Championship, whichever concludes the last.
Men’s: 2014 Oliver Schniederjans (USA), 2013 Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), 2012 Chris Williams (USA), 2011 Patrick Cantlay (USA), 2010 Peter Uihlein (USA), 2009 Nick Taylor (CAN), 2008 Danny Lee (NZL), 2007 Colt Knost (USA).
Women’s: 2014 Minjee Lee (AUS), 2013, 2012, 2011 Lydia Ko (NZL).
Based in St Andrews, The R&A organizes The Open Championship, major amateur events and international matches. Together with the United States Golf Association, The R&A governs the sport worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf RankingTM. The R&A’s working jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico.
The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent of 152 organizations from the amateur and professional sport and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 138 countries.
For more information about The R&A, visit www.randa.org.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.
The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.