Lindy Duncan shining at Meijer LPGA Classic with a 17-year-old on the bag
BELMONT, Michigan — When Lindy Duncan strolled into the clubhouse with the lead through two rounds of the Meijer LPGA Classic, she (...)
BELMONT, Michigan — When Lindy Duncan strolled into the clubhouse with the lead through two rounds of the Meijer LPGA Classic, she wasn’t accompanied by a longtime confidant carrying her bag like so many other pros.
Instead, it was 17-year-old Aubree Crane, who met Duncan less than a week ago.
“I was busy at tournaments so my dad called the caddiemaster [at Blythfield Country Club] and told them a little about me,” Duncan said. “I’m a bit on the quiet side and they recommended Aubree.”
The 17-year-old Rockford High School student normally caddies at Blythfield to make some extra cash when she’s not in class. Though Duncan reads her own greens and picks her own clubs, Crane has been a welcome addition to her team.
She’s watching one of the most successful streaks in Duncan’s career too. After two rounds she holds the lead at 11 under. The South Floridian is in search of her first win on the LPGA Tour. So this weekend in West Michigan could be memorable for both of them.
“It really has been surreal, I don’t think it’s really hit yet,” Crane said. “Like this is the big leagues, this is really serious, but I’m sure it will sink in later.”
In Friday’s second round, Crane was right by Duncan’s side as she shot 7 under, totaling eight birdies along the way. One of those birdies, on the par-4 16th hole, she sank from about 20 feet out.
It was a bit of a rollercoaster going on in Duncan’s head when the ball came off the face of the putter. But when it dropped in the cup it helped give her a strong push to finish the rest of the round.
“It was rolling and I was joking with one of the other caddies after because I said, Go and then I said, Sit and then I said, Go, and it just dropped,” Duncan said. “The crowd there gave me a really nice cheer, so that felt great.”
The ovation the crowd gave Duncan is something that Crane will never forget. She said every moment she’s spent on the course this week has been like a dream that she doesn’t want to wake up from.
The coolest part though has been seeing the world’s best golfers up close and personal. While her family, friends and other Blythfield caddies are on the outside of the yellow ropes, she’s on the inside.
“I’ve been able to see and meet some really cool people this week,” Crane said. “Just being really involved has been so cool, it’s much more than I could have ever imagined it to be.”
So with 36 holes to go for the unlikely pair, they’re feeling confident heading into the weekend. Duncan said she knows she’s playing well right now and hopes she can sustain it for a couple more days.
But when she inevitably goes through some tough times on the course, she’ll just power through it. If her caddy can carry a bag that’s as big as she is for four hours a day, then Duncan can overcome a bad shot here or there.
“She’s just a great person to be out there with,” Duncan said. “She’s tough, she’s carrying this bag, got blisters on her feet, she doesn’t complain about anything.”
—Contact Assistant Sports Editor Will Kennedy at Will.Kennedy@hollandsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByWillKennedy and Facebook @Holland Sentinel Sports.