After big fall Duval back in spotlight

By Associated PressJuly 8, 2009, 4:00 pm
2006 John Deere ClassicSILVIS, Ill. ' Considering how far he fell over the years, David Duval has good reason to feel vindicated heading into the John Deere Classic.
 
One thing, though.
 
I dont see myself as back, or vindicated, he said Wednesday.
 
That three-way tie for second at the U.S. Open last month?
 
I just did what Ive been expecting to do and what I feel like Im capable of doing, he said.
 
David Duval waves to the gallery on the 18th green during the final round of the 109th U.S. Open. (Getty Images)
Once the worlds No. 1 player, Duval will try to keep the momentum going in his first start since a stunning tie for second place with Phil Mickelson and Ricky Barnes at Bethpage Black. It wont be easy. U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover is in the field here along with defending champion Kenny Perry, who has five wins in the past year even though turns 49 next month. Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, and Steve Stricker are here, too.
 
For Glover, the past few weeks have been a little hectic.
 
Phone calls and e-mails keep pouring in, and when he goes out, hes no longer just a face in the crowd. People recognize him. A few, anyway.
 
Its not Tiger Woods walking into a bar, said Glover, who followed the U.S. Open win by tying for 11th at the Travelers Championship and fifth at the AT&T National.
 
He is, however, a player with a breakthrough victory. Duval got one years ago and now, hes trying to do it again.
 
Duval has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2001 British Open, his only major victory. He had finished within five strokes of the lead only once in the eight years and 143 tournaments before the U.S. Open. He arrived at Bethpage ranked 882nd. By the time he left, he had moved up to No. 142, thanks to a dramatic and resilient performance.
 
Now, the question is: Was it an aberration or a rebirth? A brief glimpse at what was or a sign of things to come?
 
To Perry, the answer is obvious.
 
Hes definitely back and youll definitely see a lot more of him, he said.
 
Duvals performance at Bethpage did not stun Perry. The two had been playing practice rounds together and what he saw looked awfully familiar ' like the Duval of old.
 
His golf swing looks like it used to when he was dominating, Perry said. You know what, when a guy is that talented and good and hes left the game for a while, Ive actually got to believe its more personal. He has another agenda, maybe hes tired of the golf life. Now, it looks like hes motivated again to get back out here.
 
Little by little, Duval sees his old self again.
 
A few years ago, he looked at old video and noticed just how far out of whack his back, wrist and shoulder problems had thrown his swing. He made some adjustments, play well in spots but could not sustain it. He turned his attention to his clubs and noticed a problem. Hed switched grips and the cap was slightly longer.
 
So all of a sudden, my clubs became an eighth of an inch longer, he said. They become almost a swing weight heavier when a club gets longer. It changes the way the lie of it plays. I knew there had to be something wrong with my golf clubs because I said, Im swinging the golf club too well to be hitting some of these shots.
 
To Davis Love III, the fact that Duval appears to be re-emerging is no surprise; that it took so long is.
 
When David was playing great, he was as confident and cocky as anybody, expected to win every week, Love said.
 
He saw some of that old cockiness at the U.S. Open and a poise that allowed him to dig in, keep his composure and rebound from that triple bogey early in the final round to a tie for the lead with two holes to play. When he walked off the course, Duval waved his white cap in a rare show for an entirely different man now.
 
And thats the whole purpose, Duval said. I think that as people, all of us strive to change and be better and become more understanding and compassionate as you grow older and hopefully a little wiser. So am I different? Damn right Im different. Everybody in this room is different than they were 10 years ago.
 
Five years ago, he married Susan Persichitte. She already had three children of her own and the couple has since added two more. The family is a major motivator for Duval.
 
They say, Well, weve seen you play well, he said. And Im like, No, you havent, actually.
 

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    Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

    By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

    Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

    Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

    And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    “The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

    Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

    Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

    Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

    “I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

    Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

    A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

    It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

    There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

    Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

    The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

    Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

    “I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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    Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

    By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

    In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

    Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

    With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    "Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

    So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

    "I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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    Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

    Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

    On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

    And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

    "I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

    "I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

    He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

    Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

    With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

    But he isn't celebrating just yet.

    "It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

    "So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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    Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

    Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

    Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

    The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

    In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

    "That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    "I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

    Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

    But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

    "Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

    "He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."