Todd Duncan’s already accomplished more than many golfers ever will.
A two-time state champion, the recent Shady Spring graduate has established himself as one of the best in the state, regardless of age.
He proved that last year when he took the Mountain State Golf Classic by storm, beating a field of former champions and competitors twice his age to win the event last year.
He plans on defending that title this weekend when the 42nd installation of the event, presented by Little General, tees off this weekend.
“My goal is always to win,” Duncan said. “I really expected to win and since I did last year I know I can do it. Coming into this year I have the same expectations, but even higher. I want to shoot a better score than I did last year and getting it under my belt already it takes a little more pressure off of me. So if I just play my game I feel like I’ll be fine.”
Aiding Duncan’s cause is his familiarity with the three courses – Cobb, Stonehaven and Grandview – that he’ll be playing on. The Cobb Course has been his home course while he found success in his high school days on the others.
“For sure I’m comfortable,” Duncan said. “I’ve played Cobb a lot especially. I haven’t gotten to play Stonehaven as much but I’m familiar with Grandview and Cobb a lot, and Stonehaven from past years. But it being on those courses, it makes thing a lot easier for me and I know where the misses are. I’m more familiar with it so that makes it easier to score, so that’s a good thing.”
He has a record of success at all three courses. In order to win the event again, Duncan feels he’ll need to have one of his best showing and finish at least 10-under par across the three days. For reference he shot 7-under last year.
“There’s not really a set number,” Duncan said. “I do want to beat last year’s score because you get to see you’re improving. It’s good to see you’re shooting lower but my goal is to be under par by double digits because I think that’s what it’s going to take to win in my opinion. I’ve just got to get hot and make some birdies out there.
“On Grandview in regionals I shot a 65. On Stonehaven I shot 63 a couple days ago and then on Cobb my low is 64. I know I can do it, I’ve just got to do it at the right time.”
Duncan’s belief that such a low score will be necessary stems from the field of competition he’ll be facing. Loaded with former champions, one of them he has his eye on is Davey Jude, the 2014 champion. The two are friends and have indulged in some friendly banter leading up to the event.
“Davey Jude definitely is one I’m looking forward to competing against,” Duncan laughed. “He didn’t play last year but he’s been talking smack to me all week so I’m excited for the competition for sure.
“I try to just play my own game but this is a different kind of tournament. This one’s just kind of get out and have some fun. Once you get into the heat of the moment that’s when it starts getting intense but me and Davey are good friends and we’ve been talking back and forth this week. He hasn’t played in awhile cause he’s been a pro, but we’re both excited to go at it. But there’s also a lot of other guys that can win it like Landon, Chris (Daniels) and people like that but me and Davey are definitely going head to head right now.”
Contact Tyler Jackson at email@example.com, call him at 304-731-5542 and follow on Twitter @tjack94