Memorable Lanigan journey comes to an end at Women’s Amateur

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Shannon McWilliam from Scotland (Photo by Charles McQuillan/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Hermitage’s Kate Lanigan came up just short in her quarterfinal encounter with Iceland’s Jóhanna Lea Lúđvíksdóttir as the last of Ireland’s hopefuls fell at The 118th Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie).

Lanigan had been superb all week but came up against one too good in Lea Lúđvíksdóttir in their last eight tie. The Dubliner managed just one birdie to the Icelanders four and after a memorable week at one of the most prestigious amateur championships in the world, Lanigan was put away 3&1 on 17.

Lea Lúđvíksdóttir would go on to win her semi-final match in the afternoon, setting up an exciting 36-hole final on Saturday with Scotland’s Louise Duncan. Duncan, who lives locally in North Ayrshire, progressed to Saturday’s showpiece by winning a tough match which went to the 19th hole against fellow Scot Hannah Darling having defeated Jessica Baker in the quarter-final by one hole.

Lúđvíksdóttir, who was three down after 13 holes, also required extra holes to win her semi-final against Shannon McWilliam after beating Lanigan in a tight morning match-up. After losing holes with bogeys early in the match, a shift in mindset helped Lúđvíksdóttir turn her game around. She won the 14th and 15th holes with pars and squared the match on the 17th. A pair of double bogeys on the 18th hole extended the match to the 19th hole, where a par was enough to seal victory for the Icelander.

The 18 year-old is one of only four international players in the championship at the start of the week and now the first Icelandic golfer to reach the final of The Women’s Amateur Championship in its long and storied history. With three Scottish players competing in the semi-finals, one was always guaranteed to reach the final. Duncan is now hoping to be the first Scot to win the championship since Alison Rose achieved the feat in 1997.

The Stirling University student and R&A scholar twice came from a hole down to level her quarter-final match against Baker. She claimed the lead for the first time on the penultimate hole after the Englishwoman could only manage a bogey and a par to halve the 18th hole was enough to seal victory for Duncan.

In the all-Scottish semi-final, Duncan and Darling traded the lead three times but headed to the 18th hole with Duncan leading by one hole. She conceded after Darling set-up a close birdie opportunity to take the tie to sudden death but managed to win the match on the 19th hole with a birdie of her own.  This is the first time that Duncan and Lúđvíksdóttir have played in The Women’s Amateur Championship.

The winner of Saturday’s final will secure exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie this August and, traditionally, the US Women’s Open, The Evian Championship and Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.

For all the semi-final and quarter-final match play results please visit randa.org. The 36 hole final will tee off at 8.30am tomorrow and will be live broadcast on The R&A’s YouTube and Facebook accounts as well as on randa.org.

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