Golf Talk Live - David Duval Transcript Segment 6
EVERY WEEK ON GOLF TALK LIVE YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO E-MAIL A QUESTION TO OUR GUEST AT WWW.THEGOLFCHANNEL.COM
OUR QUESTION TO DAVID...... IF YOU WERE TO GUESS, WILL YOUR FIRST WIN COME AT A TOURNAMENT WHERE 20 UNDER IS THE WINNING SCORE OR WHERE EVEN PAR IS CLOSER TO THE WINNING NUMBER? THANKS TO JEFF PETERSON IN INDIANAPOLIS.
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
YEAH, IT'S LIKE I TOLD YOU, ANY OF THEM WILL BE FINE WITH ME BUT IF THE WINNING SCORE IS GOING TO BE EVEN I SURE WANT TO BE 1 UNDER SO WE'RE NOT PLAYING OFF, YOU KNOW? IT'S BEEN THAT WAY FOR 2 1/2 YEARS BUT, YOU KNOW, I FEEL VERY COMFORTABLE ON COURSES LIKE WINGED FOOT AND I DARE SAY I PLAYED WELL ENOUGH TO PROBABLY FINISH IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF 3 OR 4 MAYBE 5 UNDER PAR BUT, CERTAINLY NOT 11 UNDER PAR LIKE DAVID DID BUT, AT THE SAME TIME I'VE SHOT MANY UNDER PAR AT SEVERAL OTHER TOURNAMENTS AND BEEN CLOSE SO, I THINK IT'S JUST A MATTER OF BEING ON YOUR GAME. WHEN YOU'RE ON AND WHETHER THAT IS A COURSE WHERE THROUGH HISTORY THEY'VE PRODUCED VERY LOW SCORES OR ANOTHER COURSE WHERE THEY HAVEN'T. THAT'S JUST LUCK OF THE DRAW BUT, YOU JUST GOTTA GO WITH IT.
GREATEST PLAYER NEVER TO WIN A PLAYOFF. LETS GO AHEAD AND TALK TO MARK IN CALIFORNIA. HOW ARE YOU, MARK?
CALLER (MALE) MARK:
HELLO, PETER. HOW ARE YOU TONIGHT
VERY WELL. THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US
I'D JUST LIKE TO ECHO THE COMMENT OF ONE OF THE PREVIOUS CALLERS. I SURE DO APPRECIATE YOUR CANDOR AND HONESTY IN ANSWERING A LOT OF THESE QUESTIONS. AND I CAN SEE WHERE YOU GET YOUR STRENGTH FROM WITHSTANDING THE MEDIA ONSLOTS THAT YOU HAVE TO PUT UP WITH SOMETIMES. I THINK, FOR A GOLF FAN, WE TRULY UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A BREAKTHROUGH YEAR ONE YEAR
HOPEFULLY REAL SOON
THANK YOU, THANK YOU
YOU'VE HAD ALL KINDS OF GAME??? PLAYERS SUCH AS TOM WATSON HAD TO PUT UP WITH THE SAME SORT OF THING EARLY IN THEIR CAREERS SO, IF THAT'S ANY TYPE OF HELP TO YOU
OH, IT'S A GREAT CONSOLATION FOR SURE
ALSO, ONE OTHER COMMENT. I THINK YOU AND THE REST OF THE YOUNG PLAYERS COMING UP OUT THERE, YOU'RE JUST TERRIBLY FUN TO WATCH AND IF THERE'S ANYTHING I'D LIKE TO SEE MORE OF IT'S WITH THINGS LIKE THE RYDER CUP AND PRESIDENTS CUP SELECTIONS THAT WE GO MORE TO THE YOUNGER PLAYERS LIKE YOURSELF. NOTHING AGAINST THE CURTIS STRANGE'S AND TOM KITE'S BUT, IT SURE IS NICE TO SEE A YOUNG GROUP COMING ALONG AS TALENTED AS YOU GUYS ARE.
WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH. WE APPRECIATE IT, YOU KNOW. THAT'S VERY FLATTERING FOR YOU TO SAY
THANKS, MARK. LET'S GO RIGHT AHEAD AND TALK TO ROBERT IN KENTUCKY. HELLO, ROBERT
CALLER (MALE) ROBERT:
HOW'S IT GOIN'?
VERY WELL, THANK YOU
I JUST WANTED TO ASK A QUESTION OF BOTH OF YOU ALL. DO YOU ALL SENSE A GENERAL DEGRADATION AMONG THE SPECTATORS IN THE SPORT IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS? I NOTICED COLLIN??? MONTGOMERY HAD ENDURED IT AT THE US OPEN. YOU MENTIONED LAST NIGHT ON THE VIEWER FORUM THAT GREG NORMAN'S HAD TO ENDURE IT AND I'M SURE DAVID'S HEARD THINGS, ALTHOUGH HE TRIES TO BLOCK THEM OUT, I'M SURE, BUT, HAVE YALL NOTICED ANYTHING, GOOD LUCK IN YOUR ENDEAVORS, OK DAVID?
I THINK GOLF FANS ARE WONDERFUL. I MEAN, WHAT ROBERT BROUGHT UP IS THE EXCEPTION RATHER THAN THE RULE AND YOU CAN CHOOSE TO DEAL WITH IT HOW YOU WANT TO. YOU CAN LET IT FLUSTER YOU AND GET ALL UPSET ABOUT IT OR YOU CAN EXCEPT IT AS WHAT IS. IT'S PROBABLY SOMEBODY WHO'S JUST BEEN IN THE HOT SUN AND HAD A FEW TOO MANY BEERS. I'M SURE MOST EVERYBODY'S HAD A FEW TOO MANY BEERS HERE AND THERE BUT, I DON'T SEE WHY IT SHOULD GET YOU SO UPSET. I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WAS SAID TO COLIN? NOR DO I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WAS SAID TO GREG NORMAN BUT, YES I'VE HAD THINGS DIRECTED TOWARD ME BUT, THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT AND YOU GOT TO REMEMBER THAT THERE'S 30 OTHER THOUSAND FANS OUT THERE WHO ARE BEING VERY SUPPORTIVE
AND COLIN AND GREG ARE NOTORIOUS FOR LISTENING TO THE COMMENT AND HEARING IT AND REACTING TO IT INSTEAD OF LETTING IT GO AND THE OTHER THING THAT'S HAPPENED OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR IS TIGER BROUGHT A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WEREN'T ACCUSTOMED TO BEING AT THE GOLF COURSE TO THE GOLF COURSE BUT, OVER THE LAST 6 OR 8 MONTHS THEY HAVE FIGURED OUT THE ETIQUETTE AND YOU'RE RIGHT, IT'S NOW THE EXCEPTION RATHER THAN THE RULE. WE'LL TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK AND SPEND A COUPLE MORE MINUTES WITH DAVID DUVAL. DON'T GO AWAY.
Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile
Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.
The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from what would be a return trip to Augusta National but his first Masters.
"The truth is that I crossed off on my bucket list playing Augusta [National], because I happened to play there," Rivarola said. "I've played every year with my university. But playing in the Masters is a completely different thing. I have been to the Masters, and I've watched the players play during the practice rounds. But [competing would be] a completely different thing."
He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).
Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Web.com Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.
“Today, I had a completely different mentality, and that's usually what happens in my case," Niemann said. "When I shoot a bad round, the following day I have extra motivation. I realize and I feel that I have to play my best golf. The key to being a good golfer is to find those thoughts and to transfer them into good golf."
Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.
Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Web.com Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.
Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.
The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.
McIlroy gets back on track
There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:
He is well ahead of schedule.
Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.
“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”
To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”
And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.
After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out.
Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.
“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”
The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.
The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)
But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.
Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.
Everything in his life is lined up.
Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.
Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore
Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.
Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.
There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.
Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.
The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.
Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again
Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.
Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.
It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.
Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.
While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.