Duval looks to showcase Bethpage form at Turnberry

By Associated PressJuly 15, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' As gray clouds kept spitting out rain, David Duval just went about his work at one end of the putting green. He didnt bother with an umbrella and kept on those trademark sunglasses, even though the sun was nowhere to be found on this gloomy afternoon along the Scottish coast.
Hes always projected an air of aloofness, given off a sense that youll never really know what goes on behind the dark shades.
It was that way when he was the No. 1 golfer in the world. It was that way when he couldnt hit a ball any straighter than a weekend duffer. Even now, eight years removed from his last win, he might be the most intriguing golfer at the British Open.
Last month, Duval suddenly found the game that so mysteriously deserted him just when he seemed poised for an Arnie-vs.-Jack-like rivalry with Tiger Woods.
Duval stayed in contention through all four rounds of a waterlogged U.S. Open and really looked as though he might pull off one of the most improbable victories ever, only to come up two strokes shy of Lucas Glover in a three-way tie for runner-up.
I had a real good time, Duval said Tuesday. It was just great, the whole arena. I probably expected to be a little nervous and such. But if anything, I was more comfortable than I ever was, even when I was on top of my game. I just felt great. I loved it. I really felt comfortable with what I was doing and where I was.
Now, he must show it wasnt the greatest of flukes.
After all, Duvals performance at Bethpage Black was his first top 10 since 2002. His check for $559,830 nearly matched what hes made in the last five years combined on the PGA Tour. He remains far down in the world rankings at No. 145. And he still hasnt won since the last of his 13 tour victories, way back at the 2001 British Open.
When he finished up on the putting green, Duval browsed through the pro shop at Turnberry. Then he paused for a few minutes in the center of the clubhouse, not far from the portraits of three previous British Open champions: Tom Watson, Greg Norman and Nick Price.
Might he join them before the week is out? Duval believes he is certainly capable.
Ive lived through what Ive lived through professionally, he said. I feel like Im a different person, a different player than I was a year or two ago, or 10 years ago even. I feel like Im a better golfer than I was at any point in my career. Now its just a matter of going out and doing it. Thats all there is to it.
It sounds so easy. Its not, of course.
A decade ago, Duval looked as though he would be one of this generations most dominant players, perhaps a notch below Woods ' isnt everyone? ' but certainly capable of playing the role of worthy second fiddle, a right-handed version of Phil Mickelson.
Duval challenged time and time again in the majors before he finally broke through for his first big title at Lytham eight years ago. That was supposed to be the win that pushed him over the hump. Instead, his game took an inexplicable tumble before his year with the Claret Jug was up.
In 2002, Duval slumped to 80th on the money list and failed to win for the first time in six years. The following year, he plummeted all the way to 211th. The shots that once soared gracefully over the middle of the fairway took aim at the gallery, a baffling barrage of hooks and slices.
Some wondered if Duval ' who married, became a father and talked of finding happiness beyond the golf course ' had lost that competitive edge so critical to success. He pointed to back problems as the primary culprit, saying they fouled up his swing much like a pitcher who changes his throwing motion to compensate for an injury.
Duval showed the first tangible glimpses of a comeback at this very tournament last year. He put together three solid rounds at Birkdale ' 73, 69 and 71 ' but a third-round 83 knocked him out of contention.
I remember I played a lot better than my scores reflected, he said. Even the three days I had the lower scores, I played better than that. But for bad luck in the third round I wouldnt have had any luck. I hit the ball really well and just got absolutely messed with the whole day. Its one of those things that happens.
It was also one of only five times in 20 events that Duval actually made the cut last year, and 2009 started much the same way. He headed into Bethpage having played on the weekend a mere four times in 13 tries, his highest finish a tie for 55th at Pebble Beach. But he truly felt his game was coming together.
I feel like I was close last year, Duval said. This year I started saying, Im playing well. I dont know exactly when it was, sometime out on the West Coast. But I knew I was playing well, I just wasnt getting anything out of it, not shooting the scores. I didnt feel like I was close anymore. I felt like I was there. It was just a matter of getting everything to add up right.
While proud of his performance at Bethpage, he was hardly content.
I was very disappointed, Duval said. I intended to win the golf tournament. I felt like I was playing better than anybody else. I had a couple of funny things happen to me through the course of the week and through the last round even. But still I had a chance. I fought and fought and fought and still had a chance. In the end, thats what you look for.
Duval certainly had plenty of fellow players rooting for him at Bethpage, perhaps because they all fear the same thing happening to them.
Here is a guy who was on top of the world, Kenny Perry said. Hes been there, done it, hes won majors, so he actually knows how to do it. Its nice to see, and I think a lot of guys were pulling for him to win.
Now comes Turnberry, and another chance to finish one of the greatest comebacks in golf history.
Is Duval ready to put together four rounds that are good enough to win?
That remains a mystery, much like the man himself.
You tell me, Duval said to a reporter. Youre asking me questions I cant necessarily answer. I really cant.
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    Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

    By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

    Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

    Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

    Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

    Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

    Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

    “I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

    Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

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    NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 pm

    The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

    After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

    Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


    TV Times (all times ET):

    4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)

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    Fort Worth Invitational: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 10:30 pm

    The PGA Tour makes the short drive from Dallas to Fort Worth and Colonial Country Club. Here are the key stats and information for this week. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Purse: $7.1 million

    Course: Colonial Country Club (par 70, 7,209 yards)

    Defending champion: Kevin Kisner. Last year he defeated Jordan Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm by one stroke

    Notables in the field

    Jordan Spieth

    • Finished T-2, 1st and T-2 in last three starts in this tournament

    • 52 under par at Colonial last five years (best of anyone by 27 strokes in that span)

    • 100 birdies/eagles made here last five years (most of anyone in that span)

    Rickie Fowler

    • First start since missed cut at The Players

    • More missed cuts (3) than top-10 finishes (2) in 2018

    Jon Rahm at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship.

    Jon Rahm

    • Finished T-2 in this tournament last year (66 in final round)

    • 17 top-5 finishes in 46 official worldwide individual starts as professional

    Webb Simpson

    • First start since Players victory (fifth PGA Tour win)

    • Fifth on Tour in strokes gained: putting this season (177th two seasons ago)

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    Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end

    By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 8:39 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.

    “I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”

    Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.

    Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.

    The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.

    “I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

    Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.

    Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.

    “She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”