Why dogged Duval’s still there
David Duval maintained his unlikely bid for US Open glory on Sunday – and then explained why he has never quit.
Former world number one David Duval will continue his unlikely bid for US Open glory today (Monday) after insisting that he is happier as an outsider than when he stood on top of the golfing world.
Duval, 37, lies in a tie for third with England’s Ross Fisher at Bethpage Black and with one putt and 15 holes left to play in this rain-hit major, lies five shots behind overnight leaders Ricky Barnes and Lucas Glover.
Just being in contention in a major is a remarkable achievement for the American who lost his game and his commitment to the sport following his victory at the 2001 British Open, his 13th and most recent tournament victory.
From world number one to an also ran, Duval took a seven-month break from the game in 2004 and only played nine tournaments as his ranking plummeted and the following year a tie for 60th was his best finish for 2005.
Still struggling with his game coming into the US Open having made only four cuts from 13 starts this year, he cited a happier family life for helping him make more of his talents.
“I’d like to think I enjoyed it (life) immensely, you know, eight, 10 years ago, when I was on top of the world,” Duval said.
“But with a life that’s a little more complete now that I have a family, I probably honestly enjoy it more now.
“I have no less desire at this point than I did back then. However, I probably feel like I don’t simply do it for myself anymore. And, you know, that’s a nice feeling.”
Duval admitted his confidence had been at rock bottom following a second round 84 at the 2006 Masters but his desire to be an example to his children prevented him from quitting.
“I just knew that I had developed some very bad swing problems and through it had lost all confidence,” he said.
“I believed I could get it back. I knew the process was going to be a long time and it would take a lot of work. But you know, I’m just not a player, I’m just not a quitter.
“Certainly not, you know, at that point, what, may be a year into the process of trying to rebuild a golf game and a golf swing.
“I don’t remember what my score was, maybe 84, 85 at Augusta, but I sure wasn’t going to quit. My older boys had come with me; so you have a rough day and quit and pack up and go home? That’s not what I think how it should be and I don’t think that’s an example to set.”
Duval said his past experience of winning a major and being in contention was still something he could draw on, but more important was the knowledge of the negatives he had gone through on the golf course.
“Absolutely. A lot of what happens with confidence and success, they are so closely entwined that as you’re not having success, you’re losing confidence, and your short-term memory starts to remember bad stuff, and my short-term memory had certainly got to that point.
“But I remember good stuff and I remember good stuff playing well and not two years ago when I knew I was playing well but didn’t have anything to kind of draw on.
“I know I’ve been there before. It’s not like a distant memory, but I think more than anything, the benefit I have possibly headed into the next round is that I also know the other side of it.
“I know what the awful golf is about, too. I’m going to go out and play and I’m probably going to hit a lot of good shots in this next round and hit a couple squirrely ones, too, and I’m sure I’ll miss a couple of fairways.
“But I feel comfortable in what I’m doing and confident in what I’m doing and that’s all you can ask for.”
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