George Duncan

George Duncan called his autobiography Golf at the Gallop and said: “If you are going to miss ‘em, miss ‘em quick.” He was an exceptionally fast player.
  • He rejected a chance to become a pro footballer at Aberdeen

    Did you know?

  • 22

    Professional wins

  • Referred to as 'the pro's pro' for his swing analysis skills

    Fun fact

George Duncan called his autobiography Golf at the Gallop and said: “If you are going to miss ‘em, miss ‘em quick.” He was an exceptionally fast player.

The son of an Aberdeenshire village policeman, Duncan apprenticed a carpenter before turning professional at 17. He contended in The Open prior to WWI and won the first Open when it resumed in 1920 at Deal.

There was a remarkable turnaround in fortunes from one day to the next at Cinque Ports. Abe Mitchell led by six after 36 holes, with Duncan, who had two shocking rounds of 80, trailing by 13. Duncan was out early on the final day and told his friend not to arrive too early at the course.

Mitchell ignored the advice and was fully aware that Duncan had scored a 71 in the third round before he teed off. Mitchell started nervously, leading an 18-inch tap-in on the first six inches short and took an 8 at the fifth on the way to an 84.

He was thought to be one of the best players never to win The Open. Duncan was in full sail and closed with a 72 to win by two from Sandy Herd and three from Ted Ray. Duncan put his astonishing recovery down to purchasing a new driver from the Exhibition Tent.

Two years later at neighbouring Sandwich, Duncan made a great charge on the inward half to try and tie the great American Walter Hagen. His approach at the last ran down into the dip on the left of the green and his chip returned to his feet. A 5 meant Hagen had won by one. In 1985 Sandy Lyle did exactly the same, finding what is now called Duncan’s Hollow and taking 5, but still claimed victory.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Carnoustie 1937
M/C
90
76
-
-
-
M/C
Muirfield 1935
M/C
80
80
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1933
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Princes 1932
M/C
80
80
-
-
-
M/C
Carnoustie 1931
36
78
79
79
76
312
-
Royal Liverpool 1930
M/C
85
76
-
-
-
M/C
Muirfield 1929
22
78
76
81
76
311
-
Royal St George's 1928
18
75
77
78
80
310
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1926
21
75
79
80
74
308
-
Prestwick 1925
28
79
77
83
81
320
-
Royal Liverpool 1924
6
74
79
74
81
308
-
Royal Troon 1923
6
79
75
74
74
302
-
Royal St George's 1922
2
76
75
81
69
301
-
St Andrews 1921
5
74
75
78
74
301
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1920
1
80
80
71
72
303
-
Prestwick 1914
10
77
79
80
80
316
-
Muirfield 1912
4
72
77
78
78
305
-
Royal St George's 1911
8
73
71
83
79
306
-
St Andrews 1910
3
73
77
71
83
304
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1909
21
77
82
80
75
314
-
Prestwick 1908
18
79
77
80
76
312
-
Royal Liverpool 1907
7
83
78
81
77
319
-
Muirfield 1906
8
73
78
83
78
312
-
St Andrews 1905
M/C
88
89
-
-
-
M/C
Royal St George's 1904
M/C
94
87
-
-
-
M/C
Prestwick 1903
M/C
85
86
-
-
-
M/C

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