It has been a year since Duval has made a cut on the PGA Tour. Some say its a lack of drive, others say hes burnt out, while his true fans blame the spell on a bad bout of health problems that have plagued him in recent years. Duval dominated the sport of golf from 1997 to 2001, winning 13 times, including a major and competing with Tiger Woods for the No. 1 rank in the world. But in 2002 he started a downhill slide that led him to take an eight month break, not returning to the tour until the 2004 U.S. Open. Back injuries, vertigo, and a lack of confidence have left his game in shambles.
All is not lost for our Oakley sunglass wearing golfer. While his game has taken a slight detour into the high grass, his personal life is thriving. In 2003 he met Susie Persichitte while playing The International in Denver. A year later, 2004 he married the mother of three and moved from his longtime residence in Jacksonville, FL to be with his new family in Colorado. In April 2005, Susie gave birth to Duvals first child, Brayden Brent Duval. Personally, its been a busy two years for him.
Though he collected only $7,630 for playing in the Valero Texas Open, it gave fans an optimistic start with a posting of 69 and 68 for Thursday and Fridays rounds. The 70 and 74 posted for Saturday and Sunday didnt help, but the rounds did give us a glimpse of the player we once knew. It has been rumored that Duval has been practicing quite a bit at his new home course, Cherry Hills Golf Country Club in Denver. We can hope that this shows of things to come.
With a World Ranking of 722nd, when will we see Duval again? Will he play out his exemption status through 2006 from his 2001 British Open win and call it a day? Or will he wait 16 years and make a comeback on the Champions Tour? Im crossing my fingers for a comeback sooner rather than later.