GREENSBORO, N.C. – Eight months after declaring that this year would be his last hurrah, David Duval isn’t quite ready to put the clubs away. Where he will next tee it up, though, remains to be seen.
Back in December, Duval stated on Twitter that this season would be the last in which he would rely on sponsor exemptions to create a full-time playing schedule on the PGA Tour. After 15 starts with limited success, he finds himself on the outside looking in but feels an arm injury has kept him from playing to his potential.
“I meant it, but I also didn’t anticipate an arm injury that has cost me the whole summer,” said Duval, whose best result this season is a tie for 25th at the Zurich Classic. “I hurt it back in May, when I was really starting to play well, catch my stride. I was leading or close to the lead after the first round in Dallas, and I was in the hospital getting injections.
“Today is the first two rounds of golf I’ve played back-to-back where it hasn’t hurt since before I injured it.”
Duval’s future prospects remain cloudy after a back-nine rally to make the cut at the Wyndham Championship came up one shot short. He entered the week 200th in the FedEx Cup standings, and Nos. 126-200 after this week will be eligible for the Web.com Tour Finals that begin later this month, where 25 PGA Tour cards will be awarded.
After his ninth missed cut of the season, Duval made it clear that if he qualified, he would tee it up in the four-event series in order to earn playing privileges for the 2014-15 season.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I mean, I entered them last week.”
His Finals fate is now out of his hands, though, and Duval must resort to hoping that players like Kevin Foley (No. 208), Doug Labelle II (No. 215) and Lee Janzen (No. 220) don’t knock him out of the top 200 over the weekend in Greensboro.
With his future opportunities hanging in the balance, Duval could only lament the brachialis strain that forced him to withdraw from the FedEx St. Jude Classic, John Deere Classic and Barracuda Championship this summer.
“It’s cost me four months, and some of the tournaments I’ve been able to get into,” Duval said. “Nothing seems to help. Rehab, dry needling, cortisone shorts. It’s just one of those things that’s just been nagging.”
Duval is clearly intent on continuing his playing career, though he fell short of stating that he would be willing to play the Web.com Tour on a full-time basis in 2015 should he fail to earn a PGA Tour card at Finals, or fail to qualify for the tournament series entirely.
“That’s a lot of speculation at that point,” said Duval, who still has past champion status on the PGA Tour. “Even if you get in that (top 25 at Finals), that’s still some type of conditional status, to be honest with you. Other guys who get through that off the Web.com don’t get to play a lot at the beginning of the year.”