‘Absolute gem’: Rockford caddie alongside Meijer LPGA Classic leader

Kent County

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Aubree Crane, soon to be a senior at Rockford High School, has been a caddie at Blythefield Country Club for the past five years — but this weekend is probably her biggest week on the job.

Crane knows the different fairways, bunkers and greens of the Belmont course like the back of her hand. So when Meijer LPGA Classic leader Lindy Duncan’s father called the caddie master to find a local to join her on the green, he suggested Crane. Duncan couldn’t be happier with the pairing.

“I need to find the caddie master and thank him for recommending Aubree to me because she has been amazing,” Duncan said. “She has been an absolute gem out there and I’ve had a great time with her. Hopefully this is a great experience for her. It has been for me; she has been wonderful.”

While Crane, 17, is confident she knows what she’s doing because she has been a caddie at Blythefield for so long, she admitted the assignment had her a little nervous.

“I found out a couple weeks before the event that I would be caddying for Lindy and I couldn’t have imagined this opportunity,” Crane said. “I know how to caddie for the most part, but it’s a little bit different professionally for the LPGA so I’m just trying to do the best I can do.”

Lindy Duncan with caddie Aubree Crane of Rockford during the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont on June 18, 2021. (Andrew McDonald/WOOD TV8)

While Crane said she hasn’t had to do much as far as directing shots or advice, Duncan said her attitude is what makes the connection work. Regardless of the shot being good or bad, Crane is always waiting with a smile to take Duncan’s club and doesn’t complain about anything. Crane always knows where to be and helps Duncan never second-guess a shot.

“This week I haven’t been talking to a caddie like I normally do,” Duncan said. “I just have to accept whatever my decision is and pay attention to the little things and Aubree has been awesome in being there when I need it.”

Whatever Duncan is telling herself, it’s working. After the morning times went off following the rain delay in the second round on Friday, Duncan ended -11. 

Lindy Duncan prepares to put at the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont on June 18, 2021. (Andrew McDonald/WOOD TV8)

Despite one bogey, Duncan parred on nine holes and birdied eight of them, mostly on the back nine. She took advantage of the course’s par 5s; she birdied three of them.

Duncan has never won on the LPGA Tour but is in great position to make a run at her first title.

“While I’ve done well on the par 5s, I feel like I’ve been able to do well on the par 3s as well,” Duncan said. “If I can keep that going, it will be great. I played one practice round Tuesday morning and I could see the greens were pretty soft then. I thought the scores would be quite low. I’m glad I’m keeping up with it.”

While this is an experience that Crane never knew she would get, caddying is something that she has always wanted to be a part of. Both of her brothers caddied for years and were able to earn the Evans scholarship — a full tuition and housing scholarship for caddies. That is the ultimate goal for Crane as well.

“It would mean everything to me (to earn the Evans scholarship),” Crane said. “My brothers have got great experiences from it and it’s something I want in my future.”

Other great experiences lie ahead for Crane, but this one at the Meijer LPGA Classic is something she will always remember. It helps when the player you end up caddying for is in the running to win the whole tournament.

“My favorite thing about all of it has been Lindy making all of her putts,” Crane said with a smile. “It’s so fun to watch her and be with her every time.”

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