Dean Robertson not expecting AIG Women's Open 'hangover' for Louise Duncan this time

Dean Robertson stepped aside to let Louise Duncan take the plaudits as she walked up the 18th hole at Muirfield on Sunday before finding himself almost purring about her latest eye-catching effort in the AIG Women’s Open.

Dean Robertson walks with Louise Duncan during the AIG Women's Open at Muirfield. Picuture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.
Dean Robertson walks with Louise Duncan during the AIG Women's Open at Muirfield. Picuture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.

As had been the case when she tied for tenth playing as an amateur at Carnoustie last year, Robertson was on the 22-year-old’s bag as she tied for 19th on this occasion in just her second start as a professional.

The pair have become an impressive team through Duncan’s spell at the University of Stirling, where former Italian Open champion Robertson is the high performance golf coach and certainly knows a good golfer when he sees one.

“I’m super proud of her,” he said of the West Kilbride woman after she’d signed off with a two-under 69 in a strong wind on the East Lothian coast to enjoy a first pay-day worth £69,000.

“Last year took its toll on her in terms of the expectations,” he added of Duncan having been just two shots off the lead heading into the final round. “Really, she had a hangover from that, but the talent is there and she showed that at Muirfield, where she was so good from tee to green.

“Yes, she has work to do to compete with the top players on the greens, but she is going to grow from this level of performance. “

Duncan, who missed the cut in the previous week’s Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, had opened with a sparkling 67 before adding rounds of 73 and 74 as her putter turned cold.

“What a round of golf,” declared Robertson, who was also on Duncan’s bag when she won the Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) last year, of her last-day salvo. “Her goal was par for 72 holes and she beat that.

“We were trying to be aggressive in the final round and push forward. But, at the same time, she was hitting quality golf shots in the right areas and respecting the golf course and she is going to take an enormous amount away from this week.

“She has a huge game. She hit driver-driver into the greenside bunker at the ninth on Sunday then drove the 11th green. The handbrake was off and she looked really comfortable in this environment.

“The great thing on this occasion is that she doesn’t have to drive straight to the Curtis Cup, as she did last year. She’s got a week to let it sink in and really absorb it and realise what she’s learned. She impressed me massively in practice, the way she can control her ball flight and can hit all the shots and trust and believe in what she’s doing.”

What’s next for Duncan is up in the air, with her new management company, Bounce Sport, waiting to see what invitations might be forthcoming on the back of this performance.

“We’ve got to get her believing on the greens. She mis-hits some of her putts and there’s work to be done there, but we can do that,” said Robertson.

“Once she starts controlling the pace a bit better, she’s going to start reading the lines and the confidence will flow. It’s all about the layers and this week was just brilliant for her.”

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