Duncan Grabs First Pro Title in RSM Playoff

Tyler Duncan hadn’t won since the 2011 Indiana Amateur Championship and was facing Webb Simpson, a U.S. Open and Players champion, in a playoff.

Incredibly, it was the 30-year-old Duncan who sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to turn back Simpson and claim his first professional victory in the RSM Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort www.seaislandresort.com/Golf in St. Simons Island, Ga.

“I’m just so happy to be out here playing, and to win is just unbelievable,” said Duncan, who tied for fourth in the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Championship to regain his PGA Tour card. “I knew it was going to be cold and windy today and I just fought to the finish. I probably made a 30-footer (actually 25 feet on the final hole of regulation) to get into the playoff.

“I was definitely nervous, yeah. I’ve been working really hard on controlling my emotions and breathing and all that stuff, and it paid off down the stretch here, especially in this playoff. I was just able to keep calm and trust what I was doing.”

Duncan, whose previous best finish on the PGA Tour was a tie for fifth in the 2018 Safeway Open, made a bogey on the first hole, but then recorded six birdies—including three on the last four holes—to post a 5-under-par 65 and finished at 19-under 263.

Simpson, who has won five times on the PGA Tour, birdied the 15th and 16th holes before making par-saving putts from about five feet to close out a 67 and get into the playoff.

“I felt like it was going to go my way, but that’s what great players do, they birdie the last two holes like he did,” said Simpson, who has finished seventh or better at Sea Island four times without winning. “So, tough to finish that way, but all in all, a great week.”

Sebastian Munoz of Colombia, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship, earlier this season, missed a 15-foot putt on the last hole that would have put him in the playoff and finished one stroke back in third, while Brendon Todd, trying to win a third straight PGA Tour event, shot 72 and was three down in fourth.

Rookie Scottie Scheffler and Henrik Norlander of Sweden both totaled 68 to wind up four strokes behind in a tie for fifth with Kyoung-Hoon Lee of South Korea, who finished at 69, while Denny McCarthy posted a 67 and was five back in a tie for eighth with D.J. Trahan, who had a 71.

Will Gordon carded a 66 and finished six shots behind in a tie or 10th with Brian Stuard, who shot 67, plus Vaughn Taylor and Alex Noren of Sweden, who both came in at 69.

The PGA Tour will take a five-week break before the 2019-20 season continues with the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the first week of the New Year on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

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