Duval looks to keep momentum in Mexico

By Doug FergusonFebruary 15, 2010, 11:44 pm
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Minus golf’s two biggest stars, the best are headed to the high desert of Arizona. Equally intriguing is what happens south of the border with David Duval, a player who has not been among the best for more than a decade.

The next few weeks could determine whether that can change.

Moments after his runner-up finish at Pebble Beach, Duval climbed into a van with his wife and four of their children as they left one beach resort for another. Next up is the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico, a chance to build on a performance only he saw coming.

David Duval
David Duval is seeking his first PGA Tour win in nine years. (Getty Images)
It had been more than eight years since Duval shot in the 60s every round of a PGA Tour event. And while this is the not the first time he emerged out of nowhere to tie for second – remember the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black nine months ago? – there was something different about Pebble Beach.

Duval opened with a 67 at Spyglass Hill, a course that used to give him fits even in the best of times. Asked if it was the first time he had broken 70 there, Duval responded in a text message, “Yes sir. Big things coming.”

For the rest of the week, his name stayed on the leaderboard.

And for the first time since the 2001 – the year of his last victory – his name was atop the leaderboard as the final group came to the 18th hole of a tournament. That changed when Dustin Johnson made birdie from the bunker for a one-shot victory, joining an elite list of back-to-back winners at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Duval finished more than a half-hour ahead of Johnson and had his own chance at birdie. His wedge came up a few paces short of staying on the tiny shelf, instead rolling down the ridge to the bottom of the green some 30 feet away.

“Any time you’re standing on the last hole with a chance to maybe get in the playoff or win a golf tournament, you have to look at it as a successful, competitive week – period,” he said.

The trick now is to keep going.

Perhaps because he had fallen so far, so much was made of Duval’s tie for second in the U.S. Open. Instead of building on that performance, he took the next two weeks off. In his final eight tournaments, Duval made only one cut and failed to keep his card when he finished 130th on the money list.

It was a small step forward, a big leap back.

At Bethpage Black, it was a matter of making several long putts to keep from sliding down the leaderboard. At Pebble Beach, it was more about the way he hit the ball so consistently over four days. Most putts at Pebble Beach, especially when the conditions are soft and bumpy in February, are almost made by accident.

“I got more satisfaction today out of hitting the golf shots through the course of 18 holes and controlling my golf ball in … somewhat difficult conditions,” Duval said. “Given the circumstances, to do that and to post a decent score, I feel good about that.”

He closed with a 69, one of only seven scores in the 60s in the final round when the pins were tucked, the ocean breeze was stiff and players no longer could lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

Perhaps the most satisfying part was heading to the practice green after he signed his card to stay loose in case there was a playoff, with his two youngest children, Brayden and Sienna, watching from the edge of the green.

Duval earned $545,600 and has essentially the rest of the year to build on a good week.

He is playing primarily on sponsors’ exemptions this year, and while they should be readily available for a player who once was No. 1 in the world, Duval does not take them for granted.

“In a kind of strange way, it makes me proud,” Duval said. “I feel like I have given the folks who have given me starts this year good fire power for why they did it. That makes me feel good, too.”

More important was how he felt inside the ropes as the gap between Duval and the leaders kept shrinking on the back nine. Even as he hit a few errant tee shots down the stretch, Duval managed to escape with pars.

His best shot? A 7-iron to 10 feet on the par-3 17th for a birdie that put him in the game.

It felt like old times, yet when he finished the tournament, he kept his own expectations grounded.

“I feel like I’m getting back on top of everything how I want to,” Duval said. “This is what I expect of myself. I expect to play well. With that said, that doesn’t mean you’re going to have a chance to win every week, but you expect to be in control most of the time with what you’re trying to do.

“I’m just going to go try to hit a lot of fairways in Mexico and hit a lot of greens,” he said. “It’s really a simple recipe. Successful golf is a very simple recipe. I will try to do that again next week.”


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What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:59 pm

Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft

Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:08 pm

Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.

1 Rory McIlroy -18 $1,602,000
2 Bryson DeChambeau -15 $961,200
3 Justin Rose -14 $605,200
4 Henrik Stenson -13 $427,200
T5 Tiger Woods -10 $356,000
T5 Ryan Moore -10 $320,400
T7 Marc Leishman -8 $249,992
T7 Kevin Chappell -8 $249,992
T7 Luke List -8 $249,992
T7 Sean O'Hair -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Rodgers -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Reed -8 $249,992
13 Chris Kirk -7 $186,900
T14 Kyle Stanley -6 $137,950
T14 Charles Howell III -6 $137,950
T14 Sam Horsfield -6 $137,950
T14 Bud Cauley -6 $137,950
T14 Grayson Murray -6 $137,950
T14 Byeong Hun An -6 $137,950
T14 Rickie Fowler -6 $137,950
T14 Charley Hoffman -6 $137,950
T22 Brian Gay -5 $89,000
T22 Harris English -5 $89,000
T22 Jason Day -5 $89,000
T22 Graeme McDowell -5 $89,000
T26 Tom Hoge -4 $59,319
T26 Martin Laird -4 $59,319
T26 Emiliano Grillo -4 $59,319
T26 Tommy Fleetwood -4 $59,319
T26 Francesco Molinari -4 $59,319
T26 Keegan Bradley -4 $59,319
T26 Zach Johnson -4 $59,319
T26 William McGirt -4 $59,319
T26 John Huh -4 $59,319
T26 Talor Gooch -4 $59,319
T36 Alex Noren -3 $41,919
T36 Kevin Na -3 $41,919
T36 Brandon Harkins -3 $41,919
T36 Brian Stuard -3 $41,919
T36 Austin Cook -3 $41,919
T41 Ian Poulter -2 $30,305
T41 C.T. Pan -2 $30,305
T41 Adam Scott -2 $30,305
T41 Aaron Wise -2 $30,305
T41 Kevin Streelman -2 $30,305
T41 J.B. Holmes -2 $30,305
T41 Jamie Lovemark -2 $30,305
T41 Ollie Schniederjans -2 $30,305
T49 Lucas Glover -1 $21,965
T49 Ernie Els -1 $21,965
T49 Hideki Matsuyama -1 $21,965
T49 Chesson Hadley -1 $21,965
T49 Sam Burns -1 $21,965
T54 Li HaoTong E $20,470
T54 Mackenzie Hughes E $20,470
T54 Brian Harman E $20,470
T54 Billy Horschel E $20,114
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After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...

Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner

On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...

Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.

After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.

Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.

A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray

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Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.

At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.

“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”

Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.

Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.

“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.