David Duval Sunday Masters Press Conference Transcript
Q. Talk about the putt at 18.
DAVID DUVAL: The putt at 18, I guess I probably just pulled it a little bit. I had it breaking a little bit left. I don't -- you know, I don't see it, because I'm on top of it. I missed it. You know, I knew I needed to make it, and I really -- really felt good over that putt, and 17 and, well, every putt if you saw me play today. So, I certainly made my share. They all came early. I made a couple towards the end. I'm very proud of how I played and the golf shots I hit. As I've said all week, you know, on Sunday there's a few shots you know that you have to hit and I hit those shots today. I executed them perfectly. 16 I really don't have an explanation for. 183 yards to the flag and I hit 7-iron and flew it over the green. You know, to be perfectly honest with you, I thought I might have made a 1. You don't fly it 190-something yards over the green like I did, after watching Ernie hit it up there with a 7-iron and he hits the ball a little bit farther than I do. That hurts, obviously, making the 4. Had a chance on 17 and 18, but didn't make the putts.
Q. The start, you didn't have a par until the ninth hole, it was exciting to say the least but got you right back into it?
DAVID DUVAL: Yes. I bogeyed the first hole. Probably a little adrenaline on the first hole. Hit pitching wedge. Hit that one over the green, 126 yards to the flag and hit it 142 yards in the air. I don't know, the wind how it has been all week has been west and quartering back and forth and maybe just quartered a little bit down instead of back into me. I don't know what caused it to do that. Second and third hole made birdie. 4th hole got a good break. That's another shot I hit on a par 3 today that I really can't account for. I think it was 190-something yards today. Y'all might know. I just tried to hit a little 6-iron. It should be into the wind, and that flew over the green as well. Ernie got up with a 7, and after seeing that, flew up halfway over the bunker, missed to the right. Birdied 5,6,7,8, and I just played well.
Q. I understand that this is bitterly disappointing, but considering your start to this year and the injuries, not playing as well, do you walk away from this feeling optimistic about what is next for you as the season progresses?
DAVID DUVAL: I probably can at some point, but it's not going to happen today. I've been in this position before, and a few times -- I got beat by Mark, and a couple other times I may very well have beat myself and today I didn't do that. I just came up short. It's not enjoyable sitting here under these circumstances.
Q. I'm referring to your physical condition. Does this mean you're back in tournament-condition now?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I would say yes, and the doctor will probably tell, you know, and I'll explain. You know, the same thing with my back. It's an injury that's a four- to six-week healing thing. Same thing with a tendon. If after six weeks you're not having problems you'll be clear. That means if I have no issues with it for another -- I haven't really kept track but I think it's about ten more days, then I would probably get the 'all-clear' and if I had problems again, it would be a re-injury at that point.
Q. Did you think there was any wind behind you at 16?
DAVID DUVAL: There should not have been. 14 is downwind. 15 is playing back into the wind and 16 should be, as well.
Q. As someone who has come close a number of times, can you put into perspective just what Tiger has accomplished with these four major wins?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, you know, the answer is no, I probably can't.
Q. Want to give it a shot?
DAVID DUVAL: Not really. (Laughs). You know, it is very difficult to win these events, any of these major golf tournaments. You know, to have your game at the right place at the right time, you know, there's an art to that. Certainly, like there's an art to playing a 72-hole golf tournament. It's just an accomplishment for him that -- I don't know what you would compare it to because I'm not so sure there's something you could compare it with, certainly in modern golf. You know, it's going to be a heck of a lot of stuff going on for him at Southern Hills, and deservedly so. As it stands now, it's clear that -- it's clear somebody has to play and beat him.
Q. On 16, was adrenaline a factor?
DAVID DUVAL: Probably, yeah. But, you know, the best way I can equate it is the 5-iron I hit in Palm Springs, when I shot 59, you know, it was one of those golf shots, I said, you don't even really feel the shot, you hit it so solid, and that's what happened today on 16. You know, there's just -- I can't hit an 8-iron there. You know, I just can't stand up there and pull out an 8-iron. Everybody would call me an idiot if I did. The minimum carry is -- heck, I can probably tell you -- you've got to cover that bunker, and, you know, that's 27 -- it was 176 yards, approximately, over that bunker, and the prevailing wind has been west; that could be quartering into you, and that's how we've played the wind all day, really. You know, again, I probably -- I don't want to say it is untimely to hit such a good shot, but one of those ones if I had missed it a little bit that it would have turned out well.
Q. How much were you able to keep up with any kind of score or any kind of position that you had as things progressed because things were happening so fast?
DAVID DUVAL: Never saw it until the 17th green. Just based off of crowd reaction to me as I was making my way around the golf course, and really, what seemed to me like a lack of roars behind me, it didn't seem like they were going up a lot, I knew I was in there. Where I was, I didn't really know, but that goes to what I was saying, again, that there's just certain shots you have to hit, regardless of your position on this golf course on the back nine on Sunday. So I really wasn't going to pay attention where I was, because I was going to face those shots and I had to hit them. You attempt those shots and hit those golf shots whether you are leading or five behind or one behind or teeing off of 10.
Q. What were the lengths of putts on 16, 17 and 18?
DAVID DUVAL: 16 was, you know, seven feet maybe, something like that, eight feet. 17 was probably about 14 or 15 feet. The last hole was, again, six or seven, eight feet, somewhere right in that area.
Q. Is it frustrating for a talented golfer, at your age, to have Tiger kind of standing in your way -- I don't know, feel like you almost came along at the wrong time?
DAVID DUVAL: No. I think I've answered a question similar in fashion, and kind of the way I think about it is that I would imagine it was the same way when people were competing against Jack Nicklaus, and they beat him, and that's kind of where we are. We've got another player who is, you know, certainly the best player in the game right now, and I think what it will do is make my victories in these majors that much more special.
Q. You mentioned that there's nothing to compare what Tiger has done as far as golf records go.
DAVID DUVAL: Not that I can think of.
Q. How about all sports, like DiMaggio --
DAVID DUVAL: Above the 56? Man, that's not even comparing apples and oranges. That's apples and peanuts. I don't know how you would compare that. I would think that it is something that would certainly have to be talked about in the same -- the same sentence, yes.
Q. Would you say Tiger at this point has more of a physical edge or more of a mental edge on the guys who are so close?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I don't know. I haven't thought about that. You know, if you maybe look at the statistics, that will answer your question, I don't know. Maybe he hits more greens or -- I don't know. I think a lot of it, what happens as a player, and I have experienced it to an extent, is you feel like you become invincible, unbeatable out there. I imagine he is in a position now he is in a position where he is playing so well, he's playing confident, it's like, you've got to beat me, take it from me. I didn't have that success in the majors, but I was winning a lot of golf tournaments and I equate it with walking out there and you have a bit of a swagger. I don't mean it in a bad way. It's a good thing. You know what you're doing, and you've got it, and come get it, boys, if you think you've got enough on you. I think that's the way you approach it.
Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
Well, this is a one new one.
According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:
“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”
Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.
“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.
The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.
“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”
The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.
Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.
Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.
PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation
Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.
The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
The statement reads:
The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.
The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.
The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.
The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.
Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins
Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.
Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.
It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.
Goodbye and good riddance.
The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.
“What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.
The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.
Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.
Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.
But at what cost?
The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.
The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.
We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.
In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.
We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.
Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.
We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.
“What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.
We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.
Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.
There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.
This is good governance.
And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.
This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.
We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.
Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.
Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.
Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change
Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.
David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.
“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.
Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.
“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”
Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.
The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.
Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.
Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:
1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.
2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.
While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”