Notes Duval Woes Mind Games Home Cookin

By Associated PressJune 17, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- David Duval began his second hole of the day with a drive that hooked to the left, caromed off a tree and landed in the rough -- far short of where the fairway begins. Then he hit a sensational 3-wood to the front of the green and got up and down for par.
 
His good fortune at the U.S. Open pretty much ended right there.
 
David Duval
David Duval followed up a Friday 68 with a third round 5-over 75 to fall eight off the pace.
Duval followed with the first of his seven bogeys Saturday and shot a 75, seven strokes worse than the 68 he carded Friday. That was his best round in a major since 2001 and let him make the cut in a major for the first time in four years.
 
'I played OK,' he said. 'It's just that a couple of shots I thought were good bounced a little the wrong way and turned into bogeys. That's about it.'
 
The same can be said for his shot at winning his first U.S. Open. Yet Duval wasn't ready to concede anything, even though his 10-over 220 was eight shots behind third-round leaders Phil Mickelson and Kenneth Ferrie.
 
'I still think I have a chance. It's going to take a round of 4 or 5, maybe 6 under, but I'm going to be out ahead of everybody,' he said. 'If I can (finish) plus-4 or plus-5, you never know how that could turn out.'
 
After the par save at No. 2, Duval bogeyed Nos. 3 and 4 and then did the same on 7 and 8. A birdie on No. 11 was offset by successive bogeys on 13 and 14. Duval then finished the round with two pars, a birdie on 17 and a bogey on 18.
 
Afterward, he met with his family and signed autographs before fading out of view.
 
Unfortunately for Duval, his drives this week have often done the same thing. He has hit the fairway only 33 percent of the time, and on Saturday he hit the green in regulation on less than half the holes.
 
'It's very hard. It's tough out there,' he said. 'If you're off the fairway, you're struggling.'
 
MIND GAMES
David Howell was headed toward another dismal finish when he managed a par on No. 18 to cap a 74.
 
Howell had a bogey and a double bogey heading into the hole, conjuring memories of his first two rounds. On Thursday, he had two bogeys and a double-bogey over the last four holes to finish with a 70. On Friday, he did the same thing, albeit on the front nine after starting at No. 10.
 
'This course is designed to test your patience and play with your mind,' he said Saturday. 'Half of the thing is not letting it.'
 
He blamed frustration for his poor finish the first two days and bad luck for his 74 in the third round.
 
'I played about as well as a man can play to shoot 4 over,' he said. 'You need a bit of luck to get it around here, and I don't feel I've had it.'
 
HOME COOKING
John Cook couldn't have asked for better company during his foray around Winged Foot on Saturday.
 
Cook's caddie was his son, Jason, and his playing partner was club pro Andrew Svoboda, who has an intimate knowledge of the course.
 
Sixty-three players made the cut, and Cook was the odd-man out because he was the last one in at 149 on Friday. He could have played alone Saturday, but accepted the option of using Svoboda as a partner.
 
'I knew who the marker would be and I said fine. He plays here and just missed the cut, so it wasn't like I was playing the club champion who can't break 100,' Cook said. 'Andrew was great. He's a good player, he's a pro and he plays fast, too, so it was fine.'
 
The best part of the day for Cook, however, was that his son handed him clubs on the day before Father's Day.
 
'It's pretty special. My dad's here, too,' Cook said. 'To have my dad here and my son carrying my bag, it doesn't get better than that.'
 
Jason, 20, got a thrill out of being on the course on the penultimate day of the U.S. Open.
 
'We enjoy every second of it, even through the hard times,' he said. 'It's awesome.'
 
Cook shot 74, bouncing back from a bogey on 17 with a scrambling par on 18.
 
'I felt like I played a pretty good round of golf today,' he said. 'Seventeen was kind of a disaster, but to make that at 18 was a nice way to end it.'
 
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