MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — 32 years have passed since a boy’s golfer has defended a championship in the West Virginia Junior Amateur. Todd Duncan is considered a favorite to accomplish that feat this week.
“Not many people have done it in the past,” Duncan said. “I would like to be one of those that goes back-to-back. I will have another chance next year too so I am just trying to get as many wins under my belt as I can.”
Eric Shaffer was the last champion to defend his title, repeating in 1988. Duncan won the 2019 overall title at the Raven Golf Club at Snowshoe Mountain and will be competing on his home course this week at Glade Springs Resort in Daniels.
“I should know it by now. I play it about every day. It is my favorite course. I get a lot of practice there. I get excited when tournaments are on that course.”
Duncan is coming off an impressive finish at last week’s West Virginia Open, which was also held at Glade Springs. He finished tied for 16th at 4-over-par and had the second-best score among junior golfers. He closed the tournament with a final round of 1-under-par 71.
“I had a good mentality in the West Virginia Open. I started out real hot. I had four birdies in the first five holes. I am just going to think of it as that tournament and just grind it out and try to play my best golf and win.”
Duncan currently holds all of the major junior golf honors in West Virginia. In addition to last summer’s junior amateur title, Duncan won the Class AA high school state individual championship for Shady Spring last fall and the WVGA junior match play championship earlier in June.
Duncan will tee off in a featured pairing in Tuesday’s opening round with Class AAA state champion Ryan Bilby, Petersburg’s Nick Fleming and Fairmont Senior’s Clark Craig.
“Nick Fleming is one of the most solid golfers I have played with. He is so consistent and he played very good at Glade last week. I expect him to play well again. And Bilby and Clark are great golfers too. They can go super-low. But they are pretty consistent as well. The winner is going to have to play some very good golf.”
Duncan models his game after three-time major champion Jordan Spieth.
“He is my favorite player, mostly because of his short game. That is my pride and joy, my short game. He definitely did it the best in the past years. He has been struggling recently but he talks about grinding and going at it even though he is struggling week-to-week. He is trying to fight through it.”
Entering his senior season at Shady Spring, Duncan will be one of the top recruits from West Virginia in the Class of 2021. He has received interest from several schools, including WVU and Georgia Southern. GSU is the home of former Bridgeport standout Mason Williams.
“West Virginia has always been my favorite school and I have always wanted to play golf there just because it is West Virginia and I have always watched their sports. I think down south would be my number one but I would be happy anywhere that offers me and the place that fits me the best.”
Duncan is a multi-sport athlete at Shady Spring. He was an integral part of the Tiger basketball squad that went 22-2 and was one win away from the state tournament prior to the pandemic.
“It was a bummer for sure. All the seniors, I felt bad for them because I think this was our year. Shady doesn’t get that many chances in basketball. We had a great season and I thought we were going to make some noise in Charleston.”