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Warming Up to David Duval

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We expect much these days from our prominent athletes, perhaps because the rewards are so astronomical. Somehow, David Duval has left many uncomfortable, perhaps for not displaying enough warmth or outward personality.
 
But here the old adage, don't judge a book by its cover, truly fits. I had the chance to work alongside David at The Players Championship on the set of Viewer's Forum when David was sidelined due to an injury. He was insightful, occasionally humorous and really a pleasure to work with. Candid to a fault where others feed the press digestible public relations spin, David is fiercely loyal to those he trusts.
 
You may not know that as a nine year old boy, under incomprehensible pain, David served as the bone marrow donor for his gravely ill older brother, Brent, who soon after lost his battle with aplastic anemia; or, that he dealt with the painful divorce of his parents, and the unfounded accusations of a spiteful, misguided reporter while at Georgia Tech.
 
I'm not suggesting that Duval's the only person carrying some baggage, but whatever he internalized as a result, those who know him best say he always had a plan and was always organized and efficient. That's very much the way he played this weekend, in which his most difficult moment may have been when he tried to bust away from the crowd at 18.
 
But then breaking through has never been easy for David Duval. At every step, from college to The Buy.Com Tour and ultimately to The PGA Tour, Duval's knocked on the door and knocked on the door and then kicked it down.
 
Where major championships are concerned, figure the floodgates might now open up. In the absence of an endearing, Chi Chi Rodriguez kind of personality, the public warms up to winners only. That said, David Duval may well be on his way to becoming a crowd favorite.
 
Free Video - Registration Required Duval comments on his first major title