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Leland takes job with the Minnesota Golf Association

Alexandria native Maggie Leland is moving on from playing in golf tournaments around the region to managing them after her career at Augustana College came to an end this past spring.

Leland graduated from Augustana in Sioux Falls with degrees in business administration and sports management after starting her college career as a nursing major. She switched her focus for her sophomore year and has spent her summers working in golf administration, including the last two as the United States Golf Association’s P.J. Boatwright intern with the South Dakota Golf Association.

That experience made her a perfect fit for her new role as the Women’s Golf Manager as she accepted the position with the Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) as of June 11.

“I was very excited,” Leland said. “It means a lot to me to be working in the golf association that I grew up in and to have familiar faces around. I haven’t been working very long, but it’s been everything that I could have hoped for.”

Leland’s job is based out of Edina. Her primary responsibilities will be organizing and running tournaments for the Minnesota Women’s Golf Association and the Minnesota Women’s Public Golf Association. Leland is plenty familiar with the MGA after growing up playing in events and even earning the MGA’s Junior Girls’ Player of the Year honor.

Leland is a former Class AAA individual state champion during her senior year in Alexandria in 2010. She went on to captain the women’s golf team at Augustana College and become a two-time Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) individual champion.

Leland played in the NCAA Division II National Championships during her first three seasons as a Viking. She finished as high as 13th place individually during her sophomore season.

Leland and the Vikings failed to qualify as a team for the NCAA Championships this spring for the first time since 2007 after Augustana finished fifth in the Central Region Championships in early May. Leland went into college with a goal of winning an individual national championship but couldn’t be disappointed with how things ultimately played out over her four years as a Viking.

“I think it was very successful,” she said. “It was obviously disappointing to not make it to nationals for the fourth year. I guess post-college, when you look back it’s about the experience and not about the accomplishments. I couldn’t have asked for better coaches and teammates to work with throughout my four years.”

After playing in competitive tournaments almost her whole life, Leland will now shift her focus to managing them. Her role with the MGA will keep her busy all golf season, but she’s excited to still be in the game of golf with a chance to make a living through the sport she loves.

“It’s kind of just been my dream to work in it now,” Leland said. “I’ll be still playing but just not playing competitively nearly as much. I’ll be working all the championships now. Down the road I’ll get involved in like club tournaments or leagues, but at least in the immediate future I won’t be playing in any championships.”

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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