Louise Duncan’s brilliant round of 67 set the early pace on the opening day of the 46th AIG Women’s Open and the Scot believes it was one of her best ever rounds.
The former Women's Amateur Championship winner enjoyed a stellar first round as a professional in this tournament, with four birdies and then an eagle at the 17th to cap a memorable morning.
While playing partners Catriona Matthew (76) and Sophia Schubert (79) struggled, Duncan dazzled on home turf and was overjoyed with her performance.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start, I played really well,” beamed the 21-year-old. “It was one of my best rounds of the year, and probably of my life to be honest.
“It was up there, I missed a few chances as well. So I’ll take it forward and take some confidence from it.
“It’s a dream start, I can’t ask for much more than that.”
Duncan was in the first group out at 6:30am but showed no signs of weariness, kickstarting her impressive score with a birdie on the second.
She was one of few players forced to navigate a torrential downpour early on Thursday morning, though was more relieved to avoid the stronger winds that took hold later on.
“It was a wee bit difficult at the start,” she explained. “But the wind wasn’t as strong as it was just now, so I kind of took advantage of that and just dealt with the rain.
“I had my waterproof jacket on and off as I’m not a big fan of swinging in it, so I just stayed patient and dealt with it to be honest.”
The highlight of her round undoubtedly came on the penultimate hole, where she kept her nerve to register a three at the par-5 17th and prompted an enormous roar from those who had followed her progress throughout the day.
“That was brilliant,” she said. “I didn’t want to put too much pressure on that putt but I know if I holed it my friends and family were going to go mental and they did, which was nice. It was really special.”
Remarkably, she also posted four-under at Carnoustie 12 months ago at the beginning of a magnificent few days that saw her finish as the leading amateur at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open.
“I wanted that (birdie) putt on the last so I sort of beat myself there,” she joked. “But no, I’m really happy with that start, the outcome that came from that (the start last year) was brilliant, so I’m just going to try to replicate or at least do my best and see what happens.
And reflecting on her meteoric rise, Duncan says that she is still coming to terms with all that she has achieved.
“It’s been one of the wild years,” she said. “It’s been a busy year, golf wise and media wise. My golf has been a wee bit of a struggle but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter now.
“I’ve had a really good year, some really good experiences, playing out in the States. I got to play Augusta as well, you can’t top that really. I couldn’t have had a better year.”