Louise Duncan vows to bounce back from 'embarrassment' in Augusta Women's Amateur

They both aim to be back. “That’s a no-brainer,” said Hannah Darling of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and fellow Scot Louise Duncan is aiming to go the full distance if there is indeed a next time.

Louise Duncan in action during the Augusta National Women's Amateur at Champions Retreat. Picture: Augusta National Women's Amateur
Louise Duncan in action during the Augusta National Women's Amateur at Champions Retreat. Picture: Augusta National Women's Amateur

In an honest assessment of her week in Georgia, Duncan said she’d felt “embarrassed” about the performance, but the Women’s Amateur champion from West Kilbride is aiming to turn that into a positive.

“Going into the tournament, I was kind of on edge, not really feeling myself and very nervous but not in the way I was before the final of the British Amateur and the AIG Women’s Open,” the 21-year-old told The Scotsman. “It was more of an anxious nervousness, which I haven’t really experienced before.

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“I had a week of practice out here before the tournament, but I still felt like whatever I did I wasn’t really going to be as prepared as other people. My mindset wasn’t in the right place going into it and the results showed that.”

Duncan carded rounds of 79-80 at Champions Retreat to miss out on Saturday’s final round at Augusta National, where American 16-year-old Anna Davis became the event’s youngest winner.

“It’s not where I wanted it to be,“ added Duncan of her game, “but I struggled to stay positive and look at the opportunities I had to turn it around. I almost had a feeling I wasn’t going to play well, which is a horrendous attitude to have and I doubt any of the players in that field had that mindset.

“But now, after getting over the initial disappointment/embarrassment, it was probably a good thing that I had that experience as I know what I need to go and work on mentally and on-course wise.”

The Stirling University student will be back on this side of the Atlantic for the US Women’s Open at Pine Needles in June before heading to Muirfield later in the year for the AIG Women’s Open.

“I’ve learnt loads in terms of how I need to prepare and what I need to do in order to have the best possible chance to perform well,” said Duncan.

“Going back home there will be some changes I’m going to make that will help me prepare for a big season because, at the end of the day, this was only one competition and there’s plenty more this season that I’ve got to look forward to and be excited about.”

Darling, who tied for 27th after a closing 79 at Augusta National, is determined to be back for another crack at this title. “Oh yeah, there’s no doubt about it,” said the 18-year-old from Broomieknowe. “That’s the goal as it’s such an amazing tournament.”

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Hannah Darling savours 'experience of lifetime' at Augusta National
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