ALL-AREA BOYS GOLFER OF THE YEAR

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Greg Duncan: Class on course

ALL-AREA BOYS GOLFER OF THE YEAR

By Laurel Pfahler (Contact) Friday, November 21, 2008

Greg Duncan, Jensen Beach High School golferGreg Duncan, Jensen Beach High School golfer

There were times during the last three years that Jensen Beach golfer Greg Duncan thought about quitting.

In the end, the senior kept plugging away and it paid off.

After a slow start this season, Duncan qualified for the Class 1A state tournament and ended up as the area’s top finisher, tying for fifth. As a result, Duncan is the Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers All-Area Boys Golfer of the Year.

“At the beginning of the season, I was up and down throughout matches,” Duncan said. “I had a couple of good scores, but when districts came around, I knew it was my last year, and I really wanted to do it.”

Duncan admitted he had a tough time finding a rhythm after moving from Scotland three years ago. He started out at John Carroll his sophomore year, but didn’t play high school golf until the next season after transferring to Jensen Beach.

“I played against a lot of great golfers from Great Britain and Scotland, and it was more of a challenge because of the wind,” Duncan said. “When I came here, I didn’t have anyone to play with, so I lost interest for a little while.”

Duncan’s parents pushed him to keep playing. And four months ago, Duncan began working with Stuart professional Jerry Tucker and his confidence and swing improved noticeably.

He shot a 70 at the District 19-1A tournament — tying for the lead but finishing second on a match of scorecards — then carded another 70 to tie for second on a tough Bear Lakes course in the Region 7-1A tournament.

“That’s a tribute to his work ethic,” Jensen Beach coach Larry Sweazey said. “He got off to a slow start this season, but he kept at it.”

Duncan was surprised to do so well in the postseason and felt satisfied with how his high school career ended — earning a medal at state.

“Thinking of how well I used to do, it drove me a little,” Duncan said of his late-season surge. “I knew I lost a lot, but it was still there. I just wanted to find it again.”

“I made a few mistakes at state, but I received a medal, and I’m really happy with that.”

BOYS GOLFER OF THE YEAR

GREG DUNCAN

Jensen Beach senior

Nine-hole average: 37.6

District 19-1A tournament: 70

Region 7-1A tournament: 70

Class 1A state tournament: 78-72—150