Scotland’s Louise Duncan and Jóhanna Lea Lúđvíksdóttir of Iceland will go head-to-head tomorrow in the 36-hole Final of The 118th Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie).
64 players qualified for the match play stages, just 2 remain 🏆— The R&A (@RandA) June 11, 2021
Watch The Women's Amateur Final LIVE from 8:15am (BST) tomorrow on Facebook, YouTube and https://t.co/ZNdS8iIvQM 🏌️♀️ pic.twitter.com/rpVLsbroZy
Duncan, who lives locally in North Ayrshire, progressed to tomorrow’s showpiece by winning a tough match which went to the 19th hole against fellow Scot Hannah Darling having defeated Jessica Baker in the quarter-final by one hole.
First Icelandic player to make the Final
Lúđvíksdóttir, who was three down after 13 holes, also required extra holes to win her semi-final against Shannon McWilliam after she defeated Kate Lanigan of Ireland 3&1 in the quarter-final.
After losing holes with bogeys early in the match, a shift in mindset helped Lúđvíksdóttir turn her game around. She won the 14th and 15th holes with pars and squared the match on the 17th.. A pair of double bogeys on the 18th hole extended the match to the 19th hole, where a par was enough to seal victory for the Icelander.
She said, “I was pretty nervous going into the game (against Shannon McWilliam) and I was three down after 13 holes. I was getting annoyed but then I realised I couldn’t change something that had already happened. So, I picked my head up and kept playing my golf and it turned out great.
The 18 year-old is one of only four international players in the championship at the start of the week and now the first Icelandic golfer to reach the final of The Women’s Amateur Championship in its long and storied history.
“I feel great. I am very proud that it is me representing Iceland in the final of the championship tomorrow. I have had a lot of encouragement from my friends and family in Iceland.
“I feel pretty good going into tomorrow.”
Duncan hoping for first Scottish win since 1997
With three Scottish players competing in the semi-finals, one was always guaranteed to reach the final. Duncan is now hoping to be the first Scot to win the championship since Alison Rose achieved the feat in 1997.
Duncan said, “I can’t quite believe it. I am over the moon, I am absolutely delighted.
‘’It’s mental, the thought that (the Women’s Amateur champion) could potentially be me. I’m just going to have to play each shot as it comes and hopefully get the job done.’’
The Stirling University student and R&A scholar twice came from a hole down to level her quarter-final match against Baker. She claimed the lead for the first time on the penultimate hole after the Englishwoman could only manage a bogey and a par to halve the 18th hole was enough to seal victory for Duncan.
In the all-Scottish semi-final, Duncan and Darling traded the lead three times but headed to the 18th hole with Duncan leading by one hole. She conceded after Darling set-up a close birdie opportunity to take the tie to sudden death but managed to win the match on the 19th hole with a birdie of her own.
“It was definitely a battle with Hannah. We were nip and tuck all the way, neither of us were any more than one up. It was a great match and all credit to Hannah, she’s a class player.
‘’I’ll be going at it my hardest definitely, you don’t get this in every other competition. This is one of the biggest championships I’ve ever played in. I’m delighted and I can’t wait to get going tomorrow.
Opportunities for the champion
This is the first time that Duncan and Lúđvíksdóttir have played in The Women’s Amateur Championship.
The winner of tomorrow’s final will secure exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie this August and, traditionally, the US Women’s Open, The Evian Championship and Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.
For all the semi-final and quarter-final match play results please visit randa.org.
Fans will be able to watch all the action in each final from the first tee shot until the champion is crowned.The commentary team will be led by Dougie Donnelly, Mickey Walker and Kit Alexander for the Women’s Amateur. They will be joined on course by Trish Johnson and George Harper Jnr.