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AIG Women’s Open: Louise Duncan looking for an upgrade on wedding plans after Muirfield

Scotland's Louise Duncan on the 1st tee at Muirfield.
Scotland's Louise Duncan on the 1st tee at Muirfield.

Louise Duncan is definitely not an amateur anymore – she just needs to wait to find out if the first cheque is going to ramp up her wedding plans.

The 22-year-old Scot shot a two-over 73 on the second day of the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield, her second event as a professional, and so will be “in the money”.

How much? Well, maybe the £80,000 she might have won for finishing T10 last year as an amateur would be nice. That could also upgrade her wedding plans to fiance Jordan Hughes.

‘We’ll be able to go abroad and have a good one’

“If it’s a nice cheque we’ll probably just go abroad and get it over with,” she laughed. “That sounds bad – sorry Jordan. What I mean is we’ll be able to go abroad and have a good one.”

But in the meantime there’s a weekend to negotiate and at two-under and tied for 16th, she’s still well in the tournament.

“Today  was a bit of a grind but I’m happy with the score at the end,” she said. “Two-under for two rounds under Muirfield in testing conditions is quite good, so I’m happy with that.

“I knew what to expect and that I just had to stick in there. I had a wee bit of a tough time going around 6-7-8. So I just stuck in there and  had a decent back nine.

“There were a few chances left out there. So I know the score could have been even better.”

Chances on the back nine

True enough, she was close with three putts for a par and two birdies on the last three holes. The highlight of the day was a seven-iron to a couple of feet for birdie at the great short 13th.

“That was the best shot of the day by far,” she said. “That was flush.”

The plan for the weekend is just to play the same.

“I hit a few loose drives out there,” she said. “If I can hit more fairways and more greens, it ultimately means more chances.

“I don’t think we purposely went at any pins out there, maybe one. But you just need to put it in the right spot and 2-putt and take your par. If it goes in for birdie, great, but if not, take a par because par is your friend.”

There was light relief at the second when Sophia Schubert handed Louise’s caddie Dean Robertson her ball to clean, and he tossed it over his shoulder and the nearby wall.

Deano thought it was a ball Schubert had found searching for Louise’s earlier, and had to wade into a clump of nettles to retrieve it – wearing shorts, obviously.

“I was right beside him when he threw it,” laughed Louise. “So I was like, oh, no, you haven’t just done that. But it was an honest mistake and yeah, it was quite funny.

“He helps me stay calm. He tells me to stop being an idiot and to calm down most of the time, so maybe he deserved that one.”

Dryburgh makes the weekend with birdie birdie finish

Gemma Dryburgh will join her on the final two days after a two-under 69 in the lead group got her inside the cut mark at three-over.

“It was probably the worst I could have shot, to be honest,” said the 29-year-old from Aberdeen.

“It was really nice to get a birdie-birdie finish. I saw on the scoreboard that I was T73 playing the last. Might have been okay on three-over, but you never know so it was nice to birdie it.”

It’s the first time she’s made the cut in the Women’s British Open.

“It is nice to get that off my back. It’s also good to keep my run of making cuts this season going.

“The crowds have been great so far and it kind of reminds me of the US Open. It’s got that feel of being a bigger event and hopefully it will be even better at the weekend.”

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