BATON-ROUGE – Life comes full circle for Meredith Duncan from former LSU star Shreveport as she returns to compete in the LPGA’s Volunteers of America Classic 2021 in The Colony, Texas starting Thursday.
The 41-year-old former United States amateur winner and a member of the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame will tee off at 1:59 a.m. in the golf clubs of the Tribute at Old American Golf Club.
According to the LPGA website, this will be her first event on the tour since September 20, 2012 when she finally dropped out of the tour after nine years of playing.
Duncan has played in 120 events and her career earnings of nearly $ 275,000 put her in the all-time top 500 earned on the women’s tour since her rookie year in 2004.
But here she’s back on the pitch in the top competition for at least one event to grab a portion of the $ 1.5 million wallet.
“It’s scary, but I’m not really expecting much,” Duncan recently told The Shreveport Time’s Jimmy Watson. “If I win, I win, but if I don’t win, that’s fine too. I mainly look forward to visiting some of my friends who I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Duncan saw this tournament fit into a busy schedule when the summer basketball season ended when she was assistant coach for Byrd’s girls’ team and on a hiatus when nephew David Favrot was not performing for Byrd’s summer league team.
The plan was to qualify on Monday, but the week after a major the event didn’t quite fill up and Class A pros like Duncan were automatically allowed to enter the field.
“I was like, ‘Oh, I’d better hit some balls,” she told the Times. “We finished basketball so I practiced, played, and did some putting. My back is better thanks to Bates’ chiropractor. I’m trying to prepare my body. ”
Duncan’s LSU career was one for the books, finishing seventh in the 2000 NCAA championship and winning three major amateur championships in 2001, including a national televised first hole of sudden death in the women’s amateurs. That summer, Duncan was 20-1 in games and never stayed through the final 94 holes of the amateur game.
Duncan’s two-foot birdie putt on the extra hole caused a delight as she jumped into the arms of her father and caddy David Duncan.
In a story before she was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame in 2019, Duncan recalled that weekend: “I try to think back to it and remember what I was focused on and all I can think of , is that I wanted to beat everyone I played. I recently found the US Amateur’s finals and watched and watched my dad and I team up to win it. That was a very special summer when I had it on my pocket every step of the way. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2003 and I am so happy that we could spend this summer together. “
Speaking of her time on the LPGA tour, Duncan said, “I’ve had some good years and some bad. I’ve traveled the world, met great people, and learned more about myself and how to survive in good times and bad, not for the weak . “
Now she is passing that knowledge on and succeeding as the Byrd trophy case includes both the boys ‘and girls’ golf trophies who claimed the Yellow Jackets during their tenure.
Your teams will all watch the coach return to the Pro Tour and wonder if one return is enough?
“But I’m not playing for a paycheck, and probably nothing will happen that will change my life in the future,” she told Jimmy Watson. “I have a real job that I enjoy, but I’m not going to say I won’t play again.”
The LPGA tour will air on the Golf Channel and will air every afternoon from 5:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.