Breakout star Louise Duncan was delighted with the way she handled the increasing pressure and attention during the course of an unforgettable week at Carnoustie.
The 21-year-old Scot shot a level-par 72 on the final day to share in a tie for 10th and received a rapturous reception from her home crowd as she made her way over the Barry Burn to the 18th green.
The Women’s Amateur Champion now has more silverware for her collection having lifted the Smyth Salver – awarded to the leading amateur at the AIG Women’s Open.
It was a trophy lifted by newly-crowned Champion Anna Nordqvist in 2008 and Duncan’s performance has given her confidence she can take the increased expectations in her stride.
“I thought I handled it very well,” she said. “I thought I would crumble a wee bit but I seemed to hold my nerve out there and played well on the last day, which was ultimately my goal.
“It will maybe take a couple weeks to sink in. I feel over the moon with how I played and how I handled it.
“I had a great time, and yeah, really happy with how I played the past four days.
“It gives me a big confidence boost. I'll take this into my next few events and into next year as well.”
Duncan signalled her intent with a four-under 68 on the opening day at Carnoustie and, having comfortably made the cut, surged into Championship contention by repeating the trick on Saturday.
Resuming two shots adrift of the overnight leaders, a birdie at the first got her final round off to the perfect start before back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11, each greeted by hearty roars from the Scottish faithful, kept the fairytale dream alive.
The University of Stirling student could not make further inroads and bogeyed two of the testing final three holes but that did not stop her savouring the experience.
The Curtis Cup is next up from Thursday and, beyond that, Duncan admits she will now have to consider her options as she weighs up turning professional.
“I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen over the next year, year and a half or whatever,” she said.
“I’ve still got a couple years left at Uni and the amount of time I've been at Uni, I think I need a degree out of it.
“I don't really know what the plan is and I’ll have to sit down and have a wee think about it.
“[This week has been] outstanding, pretty surreal and yeah, just dead exciting.
“The 18th there, just the crowd cheering, I really appreciated the support. To have the fans behind me, it's been great.”