North grad set to play in first U.S. Open

Columbus North graduate Tyler Duncan, who won an Indiana high school state championship as a junior in 2007, will compete in his first U.S. Open beginning Thursday at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington.

Duncan’s grandfather, J.J. Johnson of Columbus, is with Duncan at the Open and will give The Republic updates.

Duncan will tee off at 3:01 p.m. Thursday with playing partners Jake Knapp (amateur) and Matt Mabrey.

On Monday, Johnson said Duncan has had solid practice rounds, including his round Sunday when he was joined by one of Chambers Bay’s architects, Jay Blasi.

“He learned some of the aspects of the golf course,” Johnson said. “Jay told him how to hit balls into some of the greens. Tyler picked his brain good.”

Johnson said any help is welcome at a hard course.

“Oh gosh, it’s tough out there,” he said of Chambers Bay. “The fairways are so hard that the ball is going to run.

“You have to be careful which side of the hill you hit it on. It’s just a beautiful course, and Tyler loves it.”

Johnson also said swing coach Andy Johnson, who is Johnson’s son and Duncan’s uncle, was on site Monday to work with Duncan.