America runs on Duncan

Defending champion Brendan Steele is off to a hot start in Napa, shooting a 7 under 65 to grab a share of the lead. Steele's joined by rookie Tyler Duncan and veteran Tom Hoge at the top of the leaderboard. The trio is two shots in front of veterans Lucas Glover, Chez Reavie, Jamie Lovemark and Emiliano Grillo. Full scores

Who is Tyler Duncan?

The Tour Finals graduate played his college golf at Purdue where he was an All-Big 10 player as a Senior. Since graduating in '12, Duncan has been working his way up the professional golf ranks. Duncan played on the Latin American Tour in 2014 and the past 3 seasons on the Tour. Last year, Duncan notched four top 6 finishes on the Web.

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Poised for a breakout?

I will put together my full list of players I foresee breaking out in '17-'18 soon but one is Kevin Tway. The former Oklahoma State star shot a 4 under par 68 on Thursday good for a tie for 8th. Tway bombs it (ranked 10th in driving distance in '16-'17) and notched 3 top 5's as a rookie. I expect him to find the winner’s circle in 2017.

A little rust

Making his first start in over two years because of South Korea's mandatory military service, Sang Moon Bae fired a 1 over 73. Bae was solid from tee to green but struggled on the greens, losing 1.5 shots to the field.

A strong debut

Former Stanford star Maverick McNealy fired an opening 4 under 68 to sit in a tie for 8th. McNealy birdied three of his last four to post the score and will look to back it up on Friday. The Fall season's heavy volume of west coast events should be a big help to McNealy's bid for a card.

A Mailbag Pod

Kyle Nathan joins the podcast to answer some mailbag questions. We talk about the Presidents Cup, the delicate issue of amateur status and plow through a number of overrated/underrateds. Listen to the podcast on the websiteiTunes and Stitcher.

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At the Old Course

Last week's winner, Paul Dunne stayed hot opening with a 5 under 67 at the Old Course to grab a share of the lead at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Joining Dunne at the top is Belgian, Nicolas Colsaerts who shot 67 at Kingsbarns. Just one shot back of the co-leaders is a group of five players which include Ryan Fox, Shane Lowry and Tyrrell Hatton. As a reminder, the Dunhill is similar to the PGA Tour's Pebble Beach Pro-Am, players play 18 holes at St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie before the cut. Live scoring

The Mid Am

This weekend the stroke play portion of the United States Mid Amateur kicks off at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The event is open to amateur golfers over 25 years of age. Qualifiers are held across the United States to earn a spot in the field of 264 player field. They play two rounds of stroke play, Saturday and Sunday and then the field is trimmed to 64, for the match play portion.

Last year, 26 year old Stewart Hagestad won the title in thrilling fashion over Scott Harvey. Hagestad birdied five of his last six holes to overcome a 4 down deficit and win. Hagestad and Harvey are both in the field at Capital City and are the proverbial favorites.

Yesterday the USGA announced that the prize for winning the Mid Am would be a little sweeter. Now it will also grant a spot in the U.S. Open field along with the Masters, U.S. Amateur and Mid Amateur.

There are a lot of readers competing in this weekend's event, hopefully one can bring home the W.

I played in the Mid Am last year, read about my experience (it didn’t end well).

Quick hooks

The 15th Club did an excellent job breaking down the success rate of Tour Graduates.

Adam Sarson wrote a great piece about the Presidents Cup and the stiff challenge the U.S. might face at the Ryder Cup.

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