2017 - Leona Maguire, Duke
Maguire, who placed T-2 at the 2017 NCAA Women’s Individual National Championship, becomes the first two-time winner of the ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M. Also winning the award as a heralded freshman in 2015, Maguire recorded three wins in 10 events during the 2016-17 season, finishing in the top-6 in every event she competed.
The top-ranked women’s amateur golfer in the world, Maguire has recorded seven victories in her collegiate career, competed in four major championships and finished T-21 at the 2016 Rio Olympics, representing her home country of Ireland. She will return for her senior season at Duke this fall, and will compete in the 2017 Evian Championship, the LPGA’s fifth and final major.
“This award is a huge honor for me, and to win it for the second time is a very special feeling,” said Maguire in an interview with Golf Channel’s Ryan Burr. “It’s something I’m very, very proud of to get the opportunity to win again.
“Annika is one of the greatest there is in women’s golf,” continued Maguire. “To be associated with her in some way, big or small, is definitely something to be incredibly proud of. I’ve looked up to her since I was a little kid growing up, watching her compete in the majors and the Solheim Cup. So, to be able to win an award that she has put her name to, and to have that association is a very special feeling.”
“She has an amazing future ahead of herself and I’m certainly very proud to have her win again,” said Annika, speaking with Golf Channel’s Lisa Cornwell. “I think she has done a lot for college golf and it is nice to see her continue to stay an amateur for a little longer.
“I really applaud Leona for her decision,” continued Annika. “For her, she is taking her education as a priority and she wants to win a national championship for her school. That’s also a priority. So I admire her for that. Every journey is very different. You see some superstars on the LPGA Tour that never really went to college, and then some go three, four or five years. So you have to find your own journey whenever you are ready.”
“It’s incredible, the number of top awards Leona has won,” said Duke women’s golf coach Dan Brooks. “To be ranked as the best amateur in the world two years running, to be selected as the WGCA National Player of the Year and the Annika Award winner, simultaneously, in two different years. What makes it all even more special is the type of person Leona is. She works hard, she appreciates the opportunities, and she sees the big picture – including a degree from Duke. She’s earned these accolades, and they couldn’t be going to a more appreciative student-athlete.”