Scotland’s Louise Duncan played impressive golf to record a dominant victory in The 118th Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie).
The 21-year-old won by 9&8, the largest winning margin in Women’s Amateur Championship history.
On the Barassie links, just down the road from her home course of West Kilbride, Duncan emerged victorious over Jóhanna Lea Lúđvíksdóttir of Iceland and a field of almost 100 players who started in the championship.
She said, ‘’It’s mental, I can’t believe it, it’s ridiculous. I’ve got no words, I am over the moon.
‘’This is a massive win, I don’t think I can win any bigger. It’s definitely the best week of my life. To do it in Ayrshire has been brilliant.
“I couldn’t have written it any better; to win in front of friends and family and the locals, the support I have had this week has been unbelievable.”
Big opportunities ahead of Duncan
Duncan, who is a student at Stirling University and an R&A scholar, can now set her sights on an number of exciting opportunities including the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie in August and, traditionally, the US Women’s Open, The Evian Championship and Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.
She added, “I was emotional as soon as I won but I think it has sunk in a wee bit and I am over the moon.
“I had better get practising a lot before I play up there (Carnoustie). I played there a lot of years ago so I don’t really remember it. It’s going to be some experience.”
She is the first Scot to claim the title since Alison Rose in 1997 and joins a roll of honour that includes former Women’s Amateur victors including Anna Nordqvist (2008), Georgia Hall (2013), Céline Boutier (2015) and Leona Maguire (2017).
“I wasn’t even born in 1997, I wasn’t even a thought. So, I am unbelievably proud to be the first Scot to win the Women’s Amateur Championship in that amount of time. I am happy to have brought it home.
Duncan displayed early nerves on the first nine holes of the match and was down a hole twice to Lúđvíksdóttir.
However, a birdie at the ninth and an eagle at the 11th was the start of her commanding hold on the match and she went into the lunchbreak with a five up lead after winning the last four consecutive holes.
Heading back out on course, Duncan eagled the 19th by holing a spectacular greenside bunker shot on the par-5 hole to extend her lead to six up.
She said, “I didn’t expect that (eagle on the 19th), I didn’t even realise it had gone in. I thought it just sat on the lip. So I didn’t know what the big deal was but it was unbelievable.”
A bogey at the 22nd won Duncan another hole to go seven up as Lúđvíksdóttir made a double.
A birdie at the 25th hole extended her lead to eight up and when the 18-year-old Icelandic player bogeyed the 27thhole the match was dormie. A par at the 28th hole was enough to seal the win for Duncan.
Icelandic history made
While disappointed not to have won the title and the rewards on offer, Lúđvíksdóttir made history of her own as the first Icelandic golfer to reach the final of The Women’s Amateur Championship.
She said, “I feel fine, just very tired and very happy for Louise (Duncan), she did very well.
‘’I cannot describe it, I am very happy with myself and proud of myself to achieve and go this far.
‘’I think my mindset was different, I didn’t put as much pressure as I usually do on myself, I just had fun.’’
Final scores from the final can be found here.
The final was broadcast live across The R&A channels and can be re-played in full on YouTube and Facebook.
The Amateur Championship will be played next week at Nairn Golf Club from 14-19 June with the 36 hole final broadcast live on The R&A YouTube, Facebook and randa.org.