Tyler Duncan earns maiden PGA Tour win at RSM Classic


Tyler Duncan earned his maiden PGA Tour title at Sea Island with a birdie on the second play-off hole against Webb Simpson

Tyler Duncan claimed the last official PGA Tour event of the year in dramatic fashion as he birdied three of his final four holes to tie Webb Simpson before defeating him with a birdie on the second play-off hole. 

Duncan, who began the day four shots behind overnight leader Brendon Todd, emerged as the surprise contender with a four-under back-nine that included a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole to force the playoff on 19-under-par.

The pair matched pars at the first hole of sudden death, but Duncan rolled in a 12 foot birdie putt at the next to earn his maiden PGA Tour victory – just over two months after regaining his tour card with a 12th place finish in the Korn Ferry Tour finals. 

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Duncan. “I’m just so happy to be out here playing and to win, it’s unbelievable.

“I won on the PGA Tour. That’s something I’ve always dreamed of.

“I knew it was going to be a tough day out here. It was colder, the wind picked up and I was just trying to do the best I could, fight until the end. I hit one of the best 4-irons I’ve ever hit on 17 6 feet up the hill and you guys saw the probably 30-footer I made here on 18 just to get to a playoff.”

Duncan started the day four shots behind Todd, who ran out of steam while striving for his third win in a row, but dropped back immediately after a wayward tee shot left him unable to scramble a par on the opening hole. 

It proved to be his only bogey of the day however, making his first birdie at the par-three third, and adding a second at the par-five seventh to move to 15-under-par. 

Two groups behind, Webb Simpson seemed like he would be the man to beat after making birdies on two of the first three holes to move to 18-under, with Sebastian Munoz close behind and looking likely to be Simpson’s biggest challenger. 

But it was the 30-year-old who managed to catch the World No.11, converting further short birdie putts at the 12th, 15th and 17th holes to move firmly in to contention. 

Meanwhile, Simpson had dropped a shot at the 14th but rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 to move ahead once more.

At the final hole, Duncan hit his approach to just inside 25 feet, and holed the unlikely putt to match Simpson on 19-under-par with a five-under round of 65, going on to win the playoff with a birdie on the second extra hole.

It was Simpson’s second playoff loss in this event, and fourth time in 2019 that he’s finished second in a PGA Tour event. 

“It played really tough all day,” said Simpson. “It was blowing it seemed like a solid 20 and gusts here and there, and the pins were tough. They did a good job of setup, but they didn’t make it easy for us. It was especially hard starting out the way we did, so I played really well given the conditions.

“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. So, tough to finish that way, but all in all, a great week.”

Finishing in third was Munoz, with last week’s winner Todd in fourth on -16 after a two-over 72. 

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