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David Duval Sunday Masters Press Conference Transcript

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DAVID DUVAL: Been here before. First thing I would like to say about it is congratulations to Tiger. He's a friend of mine, and under these circumstances, with what he was trying to accomplish, to shoot 68 and win the golf tournament in the manner that he did is outstanding. For myself, I played very well today. I had a few opportunities coming home that I wish I could have capitalized on. I hit a golf shot today that might be the best golf shot I ever hit and I made a 4 out of it on 16. Other than that, I don't know what to say. And it was the tee shot; not the chip.
 
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.