Amateur Duncan leads British hopes at AIG Women’s Open

·3-min read
Scottish amatuer Louise Duncan didn't dress for the weather at Carnoustie but she did her best to tame the course at the AIG Women's Open
Scottish amatuer Louise Duncan didn't dress for the weather at Carnoustie but she did her best to tame the course at the AIG Women's Open

By Ben Parsons at Carnoustie

Amateur Louise Duncan can now dream of an unthinkable AIG Women’s Open title after her magical week at Carnoustie continued.

The Stirling University student soared up the leaderboard on a thrilling moving day as the heavens opened on the Angus coast.

Bravely dressed in shorts, leading Brit Duncan showed her Scottish grit with a tremendous third round 68 on her major debut.

The 21-year-old now sits two back on seven-under heading into the final day, after rolling in a memorable birdie putt on the last in front of a euphoric home crowd.

She trails Swede Anna Norqvist and Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen, who share the lead on nine-under.

American Lizette Salas is one back and 11-time LPGA tour winner Lexi Thompson joined Duncan in a group of four at seven-under after carding a second consecutive 70.

“I think it would have been daft to think that,” Duncan said when asked about the possibility of winning the event on Sunday.

“I wasn't hitting it great last week so to come in and actually hit it well, it feels really good and I'm really happy with my performance.”

Duncan won’t be eligible for a record top prize of £632,000 due to her amateur status, but after setting a modest target for the week, everything else comes as a bonus.

When asked her goals for her first Women’s Open, Duncan added: “Making the weekend, definitely, and trying not to embarrass myself. I'm excited to get out there tomorrow even if the weather is going to be like this. Hopefully it blows a wee bit as well.”

Former champion Georgia Hall did ask for the wind to blow but instead struggled to adapt to the deluge of rain as she faltered on Saturday.

Hall, winner at Lytham & St Annes three years ago, shot an underwhelming 73 to leave her three back from the leaders.

The 25-year-old made three bogeys on the front nine but a solid close still leaves her firmly in the mix.

Meanwhile, Dame Laura Davies toiled in a frustrating six-over 78 on her 41st Women’s Open appearance after the high of making Friday’s cut.

And the 57-year-old veteran is under no illusions about the state of her game in the twilight of her career.

“I’m not saying I’m trying to win again, that's not possible anymore,” Davies said. “I don’t have the bottle for it, I think I’d go. It’s just about having good finishes and I think I can get top tens.

“It is [frustrating].The brain's cashing cheques the body can’t keep up with.

“I have higher expectations than others have of me and maybe I shouldn’t have such high expectations.”

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