In 2021, Scotland’s Louise Duncan thrilled home fans with her tie for 10th as an amateur at the AIG Women’s Open, sitting one stroke off the lead through 18 holes at Carnoustie and playing in the third-to-last group on Sunday.
Flash forward to 2022 and Duncan is again making noise at the AIG Women’s Open. The 22-year-old made her professional debut last week, missing the cut at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open. But she seemed to save her early-career fireworks for her first round at Muirfield. Playing in the opening group alongside Scottish legend and fellow University of Stirling alumna Catriona Matthew, Duncan fired a 4-under 67, highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 17th, and is tied for fourth.
“I've kind of been struggling with the driver recently. I got a new head in it and that seemed to have sorted the lefts and the rights,” said Duncan, who had a 4:30 a.m. alarm ahead of her 6:30 a.m. tee time. “Yeah, really happy with driver. Just overall really happy with my game. Hit loads of greens. I hit loads of great putts and I stayed patient as well which led to holing a putt on 17. So yeah, it was a good day.”
Last week’s missed cut at Dundonald Links, just 15 miles from Duncan’s West Kilbride home, definitely stung. She said that she felt she played OK, but the result didn’t show in her scores. Nevertheless, playing as a newly minted professional hasn’t changed her game plan as she tees it up as one of the world’s best female golfers.
“It doesn't really feel that different. Still the same game. I've been asked this question loads,” said Duncan. “Like I said yesterday, I haven't had a paycheck and still feel like I'm an amateur.