George Duncan (golfer)
|— Golfer —|
16 September 1883|
|Died||15 January 1964
|Best results in major championships
|U.S. Open||6th: 1922|
|The Open Championship||Won: 1920|
Duncan was born in Methlick, Aberdeenshire. He was first apprenticed as a carpenter and rejected a chance to become a professional footballer at Aberdeen to become a golf professional. In 1920, he won the first post World War I Open Championship at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent, in one of the greatest comebacks in Open Championship history. After shooting 80 in his first two rounds, Duncan was still thirteen shots behind the leader during the final round, but made up the deficit to win. He is the last player to win a golf major with a score of 80 for a round. He played for Great Britain in the Ryder Cup in 1927, 1929, and 1931. He was playing captain in 1929 when GB won. He was also a golf course designer. His much sought-after professional teaching and swing analysis skills lead to him being referred to as "the pros pro."
Although he did not win the British Open in 1922, his third round of that Open was included as one of the 25 greatest rounds of golf ever played in the Guinness Book of Golf Records Facts and Champions. His third round 69 was only the third round shot under 70 in British Open history; a major achievement given the limitations of the golf technology of the day. He just failed to win the 1922 Open, eventually losing to Walter Hagen by a margin of one stroke. The scene of his demise was a dip in the fairway in front of the 18th green from which he fluffed a chip shot to a position five yards short of the pin. He eventually missed the crucial putt for a tie with Hagen, which led to the short position in front of the 18th being ironically named "Duncan's Hollow."
Duncan was also well known for his fast pace of play; he would simply walk to his ball, drop his limbs into his stance immediately, and hit the ball. If he ever studied the line and shape of his shot, he had done it before he reached his ball, for there was no pause when he got to it. As for practice swings, he regarded them as totally unnecessary and barely legal - close to practising on the course.
Tournament wins (9)
- This list may be incomplete.
- 1912 Belgian Open
- 1913 News of the World Match Play, French Open
- 1919 Victory Open 
- 1920 The Open Championship, Roehampton Invitation, Daily Mail Tournament
- 1922 Daily Mail Tournament
- 1923 Tooting Bec Cup (Last year this was a standalone tournament)
- 1927 Irish Open, French Open
Major championship is shown in bold.
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1920||The Open Championship||2 shot deficit||80-80-71-72=303||2 strokes||Sandy Herd|
|The Open Championship||CUT||CUT||CUT||T8||T7||T18||T21|
|The Open Championship||3||8||4||DNP||T10||NT||NT||NT||NT||NT|
|The Open Championship||1||5||T2||T6||T6||T28||T21||DNP||T18||22|
|The Open Championship||CUT||T36||CUT||CUT||DNP||CUT||DNP||CUT|
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
- "Former British Golf Star Dies". The Age (Melbourne, Australia). 17 January 1964. p. 18. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- Zullo, Allan, "Astonishing but True Golf Facts", Andrew McMeels Publishing, Forest Fairview, North Carolina, 2001.
- Caddie in the Golden Age - Ernest Hargreaves
- "North Foreland Golf Club History". North Foreland Golf Club. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- "1920 George Duncan". The Open. Retrieved 16 October 2013.