The 30-year-old from Nairn, who had been thrilled to hit the opening shot on Thursday before having to settle for a 75, made it to the weekend on the back of a spirited second-round 70 on the Angus coast.
Showing the same confidence that earned her a spot in the star-studded field through last week’s Scottish Women’s Open at Dumbarnie Links, MacDonald birdied the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth to be out in 32.
Like most others in the field, the former Scottish Women’s Amateur champion found the inward journey more difficult but, despite dropped shots at the 15th and 18th, it was mission accomplished with a one-over-par total.
“I’m very happy,” admitted MacDonald. “I had a disappointing end to my round yesterday, but it was good to go out today in four-under and give myself loads of chances. I am really happy with my performance today.”
As was the case on all four days in that Women’s Scottish Open and she added: “I’m just trying to take good golf into the next week and use the momentum and build on those four solid rounds last week.
“As I was growing up, Katy McNicoll was one of my closest friends so I played a lot of golf at Carnoustie. I feel quite comfortable round here and that was a huge help.”
After taking a bit of time to find her feet in the professional ranks, MacDonald has started to fulfil the potential she displayed as an amateur before the likes of Duncan and Hannah Darling arrived on the scene.
“I think a lot of people are helping give me that confidence by saying good things about my golf and giving that belief, so I am lucky to have a team around me that is helping in that respect,” she said.
MacDonald, who admitted it was “amazing” to see 21-year-old Duncan shining in the biggest test of her career so far, wears the blue and white of Scotland more than anyone in the game. “I’m a human Saltire,” she said, laughing.