Louise Duncan can make big name for herself on world stage, says Dean Robertson
Robertson, who won the Italian Open during his own playing career, became Duncan’s mentor when the 22-year-old from West Kilbride was part of the hugely-successful University of Stirling golf programme.
He was on her bag when she won the 2021 R&A Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) and also when Duncan shone as an amateur in the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie later that year.
In just her second event as a professional, Duncan benefitted once again from having Robertson at her side when she finished joint-19th in this year’s AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield and they’ve just underlined being a brilliant on-course combination in the LET Qualifying School.
By her own admission, Duncan’s race would probably been over right at the start as she opened the pre-qualifier at La Manga with a 10-over-par 83, but, helped by Robertson’s calming influence, she clawed her way back to pass that test then finish in the all-important top 20 and ties in this week’s final.
It means that Duncan’s first full season in the paid ranks will be alongside compatriots Laura Beveridge, Michele Thomson and Kylie Henry on the LET in 2023.
“Louise has a huge golf game and I am so impressed and proud of her,” Robertson, University of Stirling’s high performance golf coach, told The Scotsman as he reflected on Duncan’s card success at the first attempt, which was secured as she birdied the 90th and final hole. “There’s room to improve in scoring areas, but an up and down from a bunker at 18 was world class and shows exactly what she is made of.
“By earning her tour card, she now has the platform to kick on and develop in a couple of key areas, which, when she does, could see her not only become a leading player in Europe but make a big name for herself on a world stage.
“Louise has proven that the bigger the pressure, the better she plays and in top-level golf to be able to embrace those feelings and be at one’s best is massive. You either have that or you don’t!
“Her LET card is now the opportunity to learn to put herself in contention and become a champion golfer. Time now to kick on and learn to win, I believe.”
While Duncan cut short her spell at Stirling to pursue her professional career, she retains a strong connection with everyone on the programme. Indeed, she will prepare for the new season by heading out to Abu Dhabi in January to join the current scholars at a winter training camp.
“This has provided Louise and others before her the environment to refine their skills for the season ahead and I am thrilled that Louise has recognised this,” said Robertson, who runs the camp along with sports psychologist John Mathers and strength and conditioning coach Adam Crook.
“It will be a huge two weeks for her to work on key areas for improvement after careful inspection from this year’s experiences, not least Muirfield in the AIG Women’s Open and the past two weeks at the LET Q-School.”
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