After big fall Duval back in spotlight

By Associated PressJuly 8, 2009, 4:00 pm
2006 John Deere ClassicSILVIS, Ill. ' Considering how far he fell over the years, David Duval has good reason to feel vindicated heading into the John Deere Classic.
One thing, though.
I dont see myself as back, or vindicated, he said Wednesday.
That three-way tie for second at the U.S. Open last month?
I just did what Ive been expecting to do and what I feel like Im capable of doing, he said.
David Duval waves to the gallery on the 18th green during the final round of the 109th U.S. Open. (Getty Images)
Once the worlds No. 1 player, Duval will try to keep the momentum going in his first start since a stunning tie for second place with Phil Mickelson and Ricky Barnes at Bethpage Black. It wont be easy. U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover is in the field here along with defending champion Kenny Perry, who has five wins in the past year even though turns 49 next month. Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, and Steve Stricker are here, too.
For Glover, the past few weeks have been a little hectic.
Phone calls and e-mails keep pouring in, and when he goes out, hes no longer just a face in the crowd. People recognize him. A few, anyway.
Its not Tiger Woods walking into a bar, said Glover, who followed the U.S. Open win by tying for 11th at the Travelers Championship and fifth at the AT&T National.
He is, however, a player with a breakthrough victory. Duval got one years ago and now, hes trying to do it again.
Duval has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2001 British Open, his only major victory. He had finished within five strokes of the lead only once in the eight years and 143 tournaments before the U.S. Open. He arrived at Bethpage ranked 882nd. By the time he left, he had moved up to No. 142, thanks to a dramatic and resilient performance.
Now, the question is: Was it an aberration or a rebirth? A brief glimpse at what was or a sign of things to come?
To Perry, the answer is obvious.
Hes definitely back and youll definitely see a lot more of him, he said.
Duvals performance at Bethpage did not stun Perry. The two had been playing practice rounds together and what he saw looked awfully familiar ' like the Duval of old.
His golf swing looks like it used to when he was dominating, Perry said. You know what, when a guy is that talented and good and hes left the game for a while, Ive actually got to believe its more personal. He has another agenda, maybe hes tired of the golf life. Now, it looks like hes motivated again to get back out here.
Little by little, Duval sees his old self again.
A few years ago, he looked at old video and noticed just how far out of whack his back, wrist and shoulder problems had thrown his swing. He made some adjustments, play well in spots but could not sustain it. He turned his attention to his clubs and noticed a problem. Hed switched grips and the cap was slightly longer.
So all of a sudden, my clubs became an eighth of an inch longer, he said. They become almost a swing weight heavier when a club gets longer. It changes the way the lie of it plays. I knew there had to be something wrong with my golf clubs because I said, Im swinging the golf club too well to be hitting some of these shots.
To Davis Love III, the fact that Duval appears to be re-emerging is no surprise; that it took so long is.
When David was playing great, he was as confident and cocky as anybody, expected to win every week, Love said.
He saw some of that old cockiness at the U.S. Open and a poise that allowed him to dig in, keep his composure and rebound from that triple bogey early in the final round to a tie for the lead with two holes to play. When he walked off the course, Duval waved his white cap in a rare show for an entirely different man now.
And thats the whole purpose, Duval said. I think that as people, all of us strive to change and be better and become more understanding and compassionate as you grow older and hopefully a little wiser. So am I different? Damn right Im different. Everybody in this room is different than they were 10 years ago.
Five years ago, he married Susan Persichitte. She already had three children of her own and the couple has since added two more. The family is a major motivator for Duval.
They say, Well, weve seen you play well, he said. And Im like, No, you havent, actually.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.