Originally created 08/15/04

Duncan wins Palmetto



AIKEN - Considering the length of time it took Brian Duncan to win another golf tournament of significance, he didn't mind playing a 36-hole windup to the 72-hole Palmetto Amateur on Saturday.

It was a good thing for Duncan that Hurricane Charley didn't disrupt play and the field could play 36 holes, making up the 18 that were washed out Thursday.

Had the players just got in 18 holes Saturday and the tournament been shortened to 54 holes, as tournament officials feared, Duncan would have finished in third place.

Instead, he went out and shot a final-round 5-under-par 66 to beat Jonathan Jackson of Chapel Hill, N.C., by one shot and North Augusta's Scott Brown by four. Jackson shot a final-round 69; Brown had 72.

The victory broke a four-year drought for the 21-year-old Duncan, a junior at Clemson.

"I won quite a few national-type junior tournaments in my day," Duncan said. "It's been a long time since I had a national-type win."

Duncan, who trailed second-round leader Brown by a shot entering Saturday morning's third round, felt his tournament hopes slipping away midway through round three.

"I knew we'd get in at least 18 holes, but I thought the weather would get us after that," Duncan said. "When I realized we'd be able to play 36 holes and I was struggling in the morning, I said to myself, 'There's a lot of golf left, Brian, try the best you can and give it all you have and hope it will come out good.' And it did. It came out great."

Duncan started his comeback with a birdie on the 18th hole to close out 70 in the third round, then eagled the par-5 sixth hole in the final round.

He added birdies on Nos. 10, 11 and 13 and made a great scrambling par on No. 14 to move to 5-under. He parred the final four holes and edged Jackson, who played his final four holes 2-over.

"I played good, but he had a better (final) round than I did today," said Jackson, a junior on the North Carolina golf team. "I just got beat."

Duncan, who opened with 68-67-70, finished at 13-under 271.

It was a tough loss for Brown, who didn't hide his disappointment afterward. He led after 36 holes (67-67) and was tied with Jackson for the 54-hole lead after a third-round 69.

"I liked my position (after three rounds), but I couldn't get anything going," Brown said. "I just didn't play a good last round."

After birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 in the final round, Brown pulled to within a shot of Jackson, the leader at the time.

But he fell back with a three-putt bogey on No. 12 and a double bogey on No. 13 after hitting his drive in the right trees. That put him five behind Jackson.

Reach David Westin at (706) 724-0851 or david.westin@augustachronicle.com.