BELMONT, Michigan – When Lindy Duncan strolled around the clubhouse with her head in 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 bit about me, ”Duncan said. “I’m a bit quiet and they recommended Aubree.”
The 17-year-old Rockford High School student normally makes shopping carts in Blythfield to earn extra money when she’s not in class. Although Duncan reads his own greens and chooses his own clubs, Crane has been a welcome addition to his squad.
She’s also watching one of the most successful streaks of Duncan’s career. After two laps, she holds the lead at 11 cents. The Floridienne du Sud is looking for her first victory on the LPGA Tour. So this weekend in West Michigan could be a memorable one for both of you.
“It was really surreal, I don’t think it’s really a success yet,” Crane said. “Since it’s in the big leagues, it’s really serious, but I’m sure it will sink later.”
In Friday’s second round, Crane was right next to Duncan as she pulled 7 pennies, totaling eight birdies along the way. One of those birdies, on the 16th par 4 hole, she sank about 20 feet.
It was a bit of a roller coaster in Duncan’s head when the ball came out of the face of the putter. But when he fell into the cup it helped give him a strong push to complete the rest of the round.
“It was rolling and I was joking with one of the other caddies after that because I said, come on, then I said, sit down, then I said, come on, and it fell,” said Duncan. “The crowd there really cheered me on, so it was awesome.”
The standing ovation the crowd gave Duncan is something Crane will never forget. She said every moment she’s spent on the class this week has been like a dream she doesn’t want to wake up from.
The coolest part, however, was seeing the world’s best golfers up close and personal. While her family, friends and other Blythfield caddies are outside the yellow ropes, she is inside.
“I got to see and meet some really cool people this week,” Crane said. “Just being really involved has been so cool, it’s so much more than I could have imagined.”
So with 36 holes to play for the unlikely pair, they are feeling confident for the weekend. Duncan said she knows she is playing well right now and hopes she can keep going for a few more days.
But when she inevitably goes through tough times on the course, she’s just going to get by. If her caddy can carry a bag as big as her for four hours a day, then Duncan can get over a nasty blow here and there.
“She’s just a great person to be out there with,” Duncan said. “She’s tough, she’s carrying this bag, has blisters on her feet, she’s not complaining about anything.”
—Contact Assistant Sports Editor Will Kennedy at Will.Kennedy@hollandsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByWillKennedy and Facebook @Holland Sentinel Sports.