He wanted to inform his father and his college coach first. His father, Champions Tour player Bob Duval, taught him to play. And former Georgia Tech coach Puggy Blackmon has helped off and on over the years.
But just like Phil Mickelson needed another pair of eyes when he turned to teacher Butch Harmon earlier this year, Duval has sought Leadbetters help. And everybody concerned is now cool with it, as one source close to Duval put it this week.
The hard news here is that Duval already has spent two two-hour sessions working with Leadbetter at Leadbetters ChampionsGate facility in Orlando. Charley Moore, Duvals agent, described the sessions as casual. And, he added, Were not talking about a major transformation in Davids swing.
But, he added, Leadbetter already had old film of Duvals swing in his archives. And, he predicted, Duval and Leadbetter will get together again. Not as much, maybe as Charles Howell and Leadbetter work, Moore said, but I dont think theyre finished yet.
Duval is currently mired in a vicious slump. He has missed his last four cuts. He has struggled mightily driving the ball into the fairway. And the former World No. 1 has watched his world ranking plummet to 60th.
Much of Duvals trouble centers around his recent battle with vertigo, a condition that attacks a persons equilibrium. Balance in golf is crucial. But Moore says Duval hasnt mentioned the vertigo much lately. And, Moore said, I think, in general, its a non-issue now.
Duval is playing this week in New Orleans and plans to follow that appearance with starts at the Wachovia Championship and the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.
Another player struggling to find a return to form is Patrick Moore, the Nationwide Tours Player of the Year in 2002. Moore played three events on the PGA Tour early this season before being forced to withdraw from the Buick Invitational with what he calls a stiffness.
When the stiffness didnt go away Moore consulted physicians who found a bulging disc near the base of his neck. He has been undergoing physical therapy but isnt expected to return to tournament play until next month when he hopes to enter a couple of Nationwide Tour events.
I need to know I can play two weeks in a row without this flaring up again, Moore said. He is also expected to apply for a medical exemption for the 2004 PGA Tour.
The good news, said Moore, who turned 33 Monday, is that doctors have told him surgery shouldnt be necessary. This was especially frustrating earlier this year, Moore said. But thanks to the therapy, he added, I can see an end to it.