Duncan earns ticket to U.S. Amateur

DAYTON - A "walk off" eagle to finish the day on the golf course always provides a feeling of satisfaction.

But before Carson City's Jeff Duncan could be totally satisfied, he had to wait for another 10 minutes or so after finishing play in the United States Amateur Golf Championship qualifying tournament on Monday at Dayton Valley Country Club.

The second and final spot to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship came down to him and Brian Jones of Chico, Calif. Duncan had finished his 36-hole day with rounds of 70 and 69 for a 5-under 139 total. Jones had shot 69 in the first round and was the only golfer who could overtake Duncan.

After Jones' score of 73 for a 142 total was posted, Duncan's feeling of total satisfaction became complete.

Duncan will join Billy Harvey of Las Vegas, who fired a second round total of 66 for a 10-under 134 to win the tournament, at the U.S. Amateur Championships later this month in Atlanta.

Galena High School senior Bryson Young also had an outstanding day, shooting a second round 70 for a 144 total.

"Stand and wait," Duncan said as he was awaited the final outcome. "I'm not going to sit. Basically, I'll get stiff as a board. It feels pretty good. It will feel better in about 15 minutes, I hope."

After his wait, Duncan found out he would be making his first trip to the U.S. Amateur event.

Duncan figured he'd have to eagle the final hole to qualify for the U.S. Amateur and he was right. Duncan edged out Reno's Matt Woodhead, who had a 68-72 for a 140, for the second spot.

Duncan took advantage of a downwind on the 537-yard, par-5 18th hole to land on the green in two. He then made his 12-foot putt for eagle.

Being a Dayton member gave him an edge. "It's pretty nice having course knowledge," he said.

Duncan admitted keeping up with many golfers who were 15 to 20 years younger than him was tough. "I'm really tired," he said.

Harvey, who just completed his career at BYU, said he didn't go out to shoot a 66 in his second round, especially after three-putting from 20 feet for a bogey on the first hole.

"After that, I really just concentrated on trying to make pars," Harvey said. "You just want to make your pars and make your birdies."

Harvey birdied the third hole, but later came two missed chances when he lipped out two 10-foot putts for birdie. "I was just so mad inside," Harvey said.

But Harvey went on to eagle No. 7 and birdie No. 8. "That was big," he said.

Harvey shot 33 on the front and back nine. "It was just a pretty good, consistent round," he said.

Harvey plans to eventually try to qualify for the PGA tour and may come back to Dayton when it hosts a PGA qualifying event in October.

Young didn't start well as he three-putted for bogeys on three of his first four holes.

"I had kind of a slow start on the first 18 holes," Young said. "It made it difficult to come back."

At one point in his second round, Young was at 4-under before settling for his 2-under 70. "It could have been a low number, but that's all right," said Young about his day.


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