San Diego County

Match Play Championship

Morgan Run Golf & Country Club
April 14-17, 2011

Buddy Duncan Unseats Harris, Claims Match Play

Buddy Duncan - 2011 SD County Match Play WinnerRancho Santa Fe, CA–The 2011 San Diego Match Play Championship concluded with Duncan winning the title. No, not the Duncan who has won this event 5 times nor the Duncan who has competed in three PGA Tour events including a U.S Open. This title and this time belongs to Buddy Duncan, the friendly, gregarious, unflappable, and long-hitting son of local amateur legend Pat Duncan. “Buddy” as he is known to his friends and fellow golfers played well all week with his game possessing solid ball-striking, proper game management, and of course long and straight tee shots. In winning the title, Duncan was able to defeat what had been an unbeatable Jimmy Harris, who had won his previous 7 matches dating back to 2010.

Semifinal Matches

In semifinal match #1, defending champion Jimmy Harris took on the #20 seed, Bill Brammer of Rancho Santa Fe. The players would tie the first three holes before Harris would make a run, winning the 4th, 5th, and 7th hole to take a 3-up lead heading into the back nine. Brammer would chip away at the lead on the 10th hole, winning with a birdie. Harris and Brammer would tie holes 11, 12, and 13 before Harris took control of the match on the 14th hole. Harris hit a beautiful 2nd shot on the 509-yard par 5, finishing three feet behind the hole and making the eagle putt to extend his lead to three holes. on the 15th, Harris missed the green in a bad spot and hit a beautiful pitch shot that hit the pin and finished a foot away. Perhaps a bit rattled, Brammer would three-putt for bogey with the match ending in Harris’s favor, 4 and 3. This ended the improbable and exciting run for the 58-year old Brammer, who played great in defeating #13 seed Akash Patel in the round of 32, #4 seed John Kollus in the round of 16, and the 12th seed Matt Christensen in the quarterfinals.

(2) seed Buddy Duncan squared off against (3) seed Phil Walker of Rancho Santa Fe in the other semifinal match. Duncan would go three up after five holes in a match that looked like it could get fairly lopsided with Duncan reaching the par-five 6th hole in two and looking to potentially go four up after six holes. Back-to-back three putts by Duncan on holes 6 and 7 coupled with an impressive birdie by Walker on the 9th would see the match get back to even heading into the back nine. Duncan would win the 12th with a par and the 16th with a birdie to go dormie (two holes up with two to play). Another three-putt on the 17th hole by Duncan would see the match extend to the last hole. On the last, Walker hit an impressive 9-iron to ten feet while Duncan would hit a shot to the middle of the green. Duncan, putting first and trying to put the match away, would narrowly miss his putt, his ball finishing just behind the cup about 4 inches from the hole. Walker, looking for the same magic on the last hole that propelled him into the semifinals, hit a great putt that went deep into the hole before lipping out, with Duncan winning narrowly, 1-up.

Final Match

The match for the 2011 San Diego Match Play Championship saw #1 seed and defending champion Jimmy Harris of San Diego take on #2 seed and long-hitting Buddy Duncan of Rancho Santa Fe. With Duncan struggling (Duncan was approximately 3-over par on the front nine) Harris would capitalize, winning hole #7 with an eagle and #8 with a birdie and take a 3-up lead heading into the back nine.

Both players missed the green in regulation on the 594-yard par five 5th hole, Duncan getting it up and down for the win. Heading into #11, Harris would later describe this hole as the “momentum’-changer”. With Harris in for par, Duncan made a nice 20-footer for birdie to get within one hole. With the wind really starting to pick up, Duncan would win the 12th with a par after Harris failed to get it up and down again to get the match to all square. Harris, playing like the defending champion, would respond quickly by winning the 13th with a par to regain the lead at 1-up. The lead was short-lived, however, as Harris again failed to get it up and down on the very next hole, losing the 14th hole to a Duncan par. With four holes to play, and the match all square, both Duncan and Harris hit excellent 2nd shots to reach the putting surface of the par-5 15th. With Duncan three-putting for par, Harris had a three footer for birdie to again re-gain the lead. Harris would not capitalize on the opportunity, missing the birdie putt to keep the match all square with three to play. Harris would again fail to get it up and down on the 16th hole, allowing Duncan to take the 1-up lead with two holes to play.

On the difficult par three 17th hole, Harris would hit an excellent approach shot to ten feet. With an opportunity to square the match, Harris hit the putt center cut but just short of the hole. On the last hole of the day, both players would miss the green again in regulation. Duncan, pitching first, hit a deft shot to about 3 feet while Harris narrowly missed his chip-in bid for birdie. With three feet remaining for the title, Duncan hit the putt solid as it disappeared into the hole.

In the consolation match, Phil Walker was able to defeat Bill Brammer by the count of 3 and 2 to claim 3rd place.

Thank you to all the players to competed in the 2011 San Diego Match Play Championship as well as the host facility, Morgan Run Golf & Country Club.

2011 SD County Match Play 2011 SD County Match Play 2011 SD County Match Pla

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