Duncan beats Simpson in play-off to win RSM Classic

By Sports Desk November 24, 2019

Tyler Duncan clinched his breakthrough PGA Tour victory after a sudden-death play-off at the RSM Classic.

Thirty-year-old Duncan celebrated his first career win thanks to a birdie on the second extra hole against Webb Simpson on Sunday.

A play-off was needed after Duncan and Simpson finished level at 19 under through 72 holes in Georgia.

Duncan had finished with a flurry by birdieing three of his final four holes, including his remaining two at Sea Island, for a five-under-par 65.

Fellow American and former U.S. Open winner Simpson, meanwhile, carded a final-round 67 on the Seaside Course.

A play-off ensued, and the pair parred the opening hole before Duncan birdied the par-four 18th the second time through.

"Just so happy to be here playing. To come out here and win, it's just unbelievable," Duncan said afterwards.

Colombia's Sebastian Munoz ended the tournament a stroke adrift following his two-under-par 68.

Brendon Todd's hat-trick bid faltered as he finished outright fourth at 16 under after a forgettable two-over-par 72.

Not since Dustin Johnson in 2017 had anyone won three straight starts on the PGA Tour, while not since Tiger Woods in 2006 had anyone claimed three successive tournaments on the Tour schedule.

Todd – coming off wins at the inaugural Bermuda Championship and Mayakoba Golf Classic – was unable to secure his third consecutive victory, despite starting the day with a two-shot lead.

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    Richard Bland finally won a European Tour title at the 478th attempt as the 48-year-old saw decades of persistence pay off at the British Masters.

    The Englishman first appeared on the circuit in 1998 and had three runner-up finishes and a pair of third places to his name across his career before this week, but the first win had proven elusive.

    However, he put that right on Saturday at The Belfry, a closing 66 taking him to 13 under par before Bland held his nerve in a play-off to deny Italian Guido Migliozzi.

    Bland made birdie at the 18th with a putt from almost 30 feet for a six-under 66 to set the clubhouse target, but Migliozzi joined him on that mark by picking up shots at the 15th and 16th holes.

    It would have been a nervy wait for Bland as Migliozzi targeted the birdie in the closing two holes that would have brought him the title, but the 24-year-old could not make it happen as he settled for a 68, triggering the play-off.

    When Migliozzi missed from around 10 feet for par at the first extra hole - the 18th - Bland had the chance to slot the winning putt from close range, and he made no mistake.

    "I've done it," said an emotional Bland on Sky Sports. "My game had been trending in the right way and I'd worked really hard, as you know we've worked so hard on the wedges."

    Interviewed by his coach Tim Barter, Bland, who collects €339,278 for his win, said: "I just drove the ball so well this week. I've gone back to my old driver. Round here - especially for me, I'm not the longest on tour - so I've got to hit fairways and I've probably missed single-digit fairways all week.

    "If I have missed one it's been by a couple of inches. I came off a pretty decent week last week and a top 10 [last month] in Gran Canaria so I knew my game was in decent shape."

    Finland's Mikko Korhonen shared third place on 12 under with England's Dave Coupland and Polish player Adrian Meronk, with another Englishman in Andy Sullivan tied for sixth with South African Dean Burmester.

    Tournament host Danny Willett finished at nine under, the same mark as fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell who was the overnight leader but struggled on the final day, a one-over 73 seeing him slide down the leaderboard to a share of 11th place.

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