West Kilbride’s finest, Louise Duncan, comfortably won the R&A Women’s Amateur on Saturday at Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club, defeating Iceland’s Johanna Lea Ludviksdottir, 9&8 to become the first Scot to claim the coveted title since 1997 when Alison Rose hoisted the trophy.
Duncan used an eagle-3 at the par-5 11th and won the last four holes of the morning round to build a five-hole lead at the lunch break. She began the afternoon round with another eagle on the par-5 first to go 6-up before eventually closing out Ludviksdottir on the 28th hole of the match.
Duncan’s winning margin was the largest in the long history of the event, eclipsing Joyce Wetherhed’s 9&7 victory over Carol Leitch in the 1922 final at Royal St. George’s. She is the 17th Scot to claim the championship.
“I definitely wasn’t quietly confident coming into the week," said Duncan. "My first goal was to make the match-play stage and see what happened from there, but I didn’t think I’d get this far."
The win earns Duncan exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open and traditionally the U.S. Women’s Open, the Evian Championship and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.
"I can’t believe it,” she said of those rewards. “It’s ridiculous and I am over the moon.”
Duncan advanced to the championship match by defeating fellow Scot Hannah Darling on the 19th hole of their semi-final match, while Ludviksdottir fought back after being three down with just five holes to play to beat Shannon McWilliam on the first extra hole of their semi-final match to become the first Icelandic golfer to reach the Women’s Amateur Championship final.
A special moment too for Louise's coach, Iain. Well done WK Pro!