George Duncan (golfer)
Duncan, c. 1907
16 September 1883|
|Died||15 January 1964
|Best results in major championships
|U.S. Open||6th: 1922|
|The Open Championship||Won: 1920|
George Duncan (16 September 1883 – 15 January 1964) was a Scottish professional golfer. 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 pro's pro." He won the 1920 Open Championship.
Duncan was born in Methlick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on 16 September 1883. He was first apprenticed as a carpenter and rejected a chance to become a professional footballer at Aberdeen to become a golf professional.
Duncan was 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.
1920 Open Championship
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 thirteen shots behind the leader, Abe Mitchell, before the final two rounds were played, but made up the deficit to win by two shots from Sandy Herd. His rounds were 80-80-71-72=303. He is the last player to win a golf major with a score of 80 for a round.
1922 Open Championship
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."
He played for Great Britain in the Ryder Cup in 1927, 1929, and 1931. He was playing captain in 1929 when Great Britain was the victorious side.
Death and legacy
Duncan died on 15 January 1964 in Leeds, England. He is best remembered for winning the 1920 Open Championship.
Tournament wins (22)
- Note: This list may be incomplete.
- 1906 Leeds Cup
- 1908 London Professional Foursomes Tournament (with Charles Mayo), Manchester Tournament
- 1909 North Berwick Tournament
- 1912 Sphere and Tatler Foursomes Tournament (with James Sherlock), Belgian Open
- 1913 News of the World Match Play, French Open
- 1914 Bishop's Stortford Tournament, Port Seton Professional Tournament
- 1919 Killermont Tournament, St Andrews Tournament ("Victory Open") (joint winner with Abe Mitchell)
- 1920 The Open Championship, Roehampton Invitation Tournament, Daily Mail Tournament, Glasgow Herald Tournament
- 1922 Daily Mail Tournament
- 1923 Tooting Bec Cup
- 1924 Glasgow Herald Tournament
- 1927 Irish Open, French Open
- 1929 Frinton Tournament
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
- England–Scotland Professional Match (representing Scotland): 1903 (winners), 1906, 1907, 1909, 1910, 1912 (tie), 1913, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937
- Coronation Match (representing the Professionals): 1911 (winners)
- Great Britain vs USA (representing Great Britain): 1921 (winners, captain), 1926 (winners)
- Ryder Cup (representing Great Britain): 1927, 1929 (winners, captain), 1931
- "Births in the Parish of Methlick in the County of Aberdeen". Statutory Births 221/00 0048. ScotlandsPeople. Retrieved 18 February 2015. (subscription required (. ))
- Caddie in the Golden Age - Ernest Hargreaves
- Zullo, Allan, "Astonishing but True Golf Facts", Andrew McMeels Publishing, Forest Fairview, North Carolina, 2001.
- "Former British Golf Star Dies". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. 17 January 1964. p. 18. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- "1920 George Duncan". The Open. Retrieved 16 October 2013.