Tuesday, July 30, 2019



By Bernie McGuire bernieontour@gmail.com

Nineteen-year-old Liam Duncan smashed a 15-year Balcomie Links, Crail GS course record by posting an eight-under par 61 on the opening day of the 2019 Scottish men's amateur championship at Crail.

Duncan, pictured, lowered the course by a shot some two hours after Eric McIntosh had become the second golfer in the morning's play to equal the existing course record of 62.
Crail member Ross Forgan had set the course record in May, 2004 in regular club competition.
John Paterson, and out in the very first group of the day, matched the score of 62 thanks to the New Club member at St. Andrews managing two eagles and three birdies.
Less than an hour later and McIntosh, who plays out of Bruntsfield Golf Club in Edinburgh, matched that score and in a round of an eagle and five birdies.
Then stepped forward the bearded Kirkaldy-born Duncan who had shot a net 59 many years ago in a Crail Junior Open.
Duncan's round, and despite finding a burn at the back of the first green and having to take a penalty drop on route to saving par, is easily the lowest of his amateur career and four fewer than a prior career low of 65.
"The key to my round was gettting off to a good start and while I went into the burn at the back of nine, and I thought to myself this could be a tough round but I managed to save par so that was a huge bonus and I then birdied the second and third holes so I was two-under after three," he said.
"When I was out in a practice round on Sunday, I was worried about not losing the head as you have a lot of good chances to make 10-15 footers on this course.
"The big key today was that I was three-under for the six par-3s out there and that helped a lot."
Duncan highlighted the best of the par-3 birdies being the 188-yard sixth hole and a hole he failed to hit in his practice round though he hit a 6-iron into the green today to just 12-feet and holed the birdie putt.
"That birdie on six got me to three-under and that was a big boost heading into the remainder of the round," he said.
"I have struggled of late with my game but not for a moment thinking I could go out and shoot a 61.  It was more about just going out and enjoying myself.  Normally, I am that guy who shoots level par or shooting one-over or one-under."
And Duncan, who is into a first year of four year's of study New Mexico Junior University, admitted he did entertain thoughts of breaking 60 .
"After I birdied 16 I was then 8-under par with two to go, so I was thinking about maybe breaking 60," he said.
"I had about a 15-foot putt for birdie on 17 but left it three-feet short, as I didn't want to send it past (smiling).  So, I put a little bit of pressure on myself but I was just enjoying myself as that was the main thing.
"It was just a very scoreable day with the conditions ideal."




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