Duncan outlasts Simpson in playoff to win RSM Classic

Tyler Duncan sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole Sunday in St. Simons, Ga., to beat Webb Simpson and win The RSM Classic for the first PGA Tour title of his career.

Duncan and Simpson each parred the par-4 18th at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course on the first playoff hole, and they returned to the tee for the second. Duncan put his approach close and then left no doubt with the putt.

“I’m sure I don’t even know half the stuff that is gonna come my way from this, and I’m just looking forward to embracing all of it,” Duncan told reporters afterward of the win.

The 30-year-old, who entered with three career top-10 finishes, needed plenty of work just to reach the playoff. He finished his 5-under-par round of 65 with three birdies in his final four holes, including the last two. Duncan sunk a 25-footer for birdie at the 18th to reach 19-under 263 for the tournament.

“I was obviously a little bit nervous,” Duncan said of the final few holes of regulation. “… I knew I was a few behind, and maybe I’d have a chance if I made a few birdies coming in.

“… Obviously at 18 to make that 25-, 30-footer to get into a playoff — that was some of the emotion I’ve never felt.”

Duncan, who had been the 36-hole leader after shooting a personal-best 61 on Friday, took home $1.18 million with the victory.

Simpson, the highest-ranked player (No. 12) in the field and the 2011 runner-up at the event, began the day tied for second and shot 67. He overcame a bogey at No. 14 to birdie the 15th and the 16th, including a 22-foot putt at 16.

Simpson got up-and-down from a green-side bunker for par at the par-3 17th, then two-putted for par at the 18th to force the playoff.

Finishing third was Sebastian Munoz of Colombia, who began the day tied with Simpson but managed just three birdies and one bogey, finishing one stroke out of the playoff.

Another stroke back was Brendon Todd, who led by two entering the day and was in search of his third consecutive tournament victory. Instead, Todd double-bogeyed the par-4 fifth and bogeyed Nos. 12 and 14 to reach 4 over on the day. His birdies at 15 and 16 — his first birdies of the day — proved to be too little, too late.


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