When Louise Duncan claimed the Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) earlier this month, she had achieved something special.
A University student at Stirling, and a member at nearby West Kilbride, Duncan secured the prestigious title with a 9&8 victory over Jóhanna Lea Lúđvíksdóttir.
What is more, Duncan became the first Scottish winner of one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious championships since Alison Rose triumphed in 1997. That success came before Duncan, 21, had even been born.
Prior to Rose, the last Scottish winner of the Women’s Amateur was Catriona Matthew, the only player from Scotland to date who has won the AIG Women's Open. Duncan will now play in that very event for the first time, with her Amateur Championship victory earning a spot in the AIG Women's Open at Carnoustie in August.
“I can’t believe it, it’s ridiculous,” Duncan said after her victory. “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 has been unbelievable.
“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 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 joins a long list of star names who have taken out the championship in the past 15 years, including 2018 AIG Women’s Open Champion Georgia Hall, major winner Anna Nordqvist and European stalwarts Carlota Ciganda, Azahara Munoz, Emily Kristine Pedersen, Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow.
Duncan’s commanding victory in the final, the biggest in Women’s Amateur history, also gained the R&A Scholar entry into two other majors, traditionally, and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur next April.
However, Duncan’s focus will be on the remainder of the summer, where her schedule will include an appearance in Angus this August.
“I had better get practising a lot before I play up there (Carnoustie)", Duncan said. "I played there a lot of years ago so I don’t really remember it. It’s going to be some experience."