Is Duvals Luck Finally Changing

By Brian HewittOctober 1, 2003, 4:00 pm
When last seen by the golfing public, David Duval was withdrawing from the PGA Championship at Oak Hill with a bad back.
 
Maybe his luck is changing.
 
The former British Open champion hasnt played in a tournament since then. But two weeks ago in British Columbia, Duval bagged a 45-pound king salmon with an eight-weight fly rod while filming an outdoors show for ESPN that will air in January. It was two pounds shy of the listed world record.

Maybe Duvals luck is changing.
 
Maybe by January his back will be healthy again and he will begin the long, slow climb back to the top of mens professional golf. In 1999 he rose to the top of the world rankings. Today he sits at No. 173.
 
Duvals record in 2003 includes 15 missed cuts and 2 withdrawals in 19 events. He has battled vertigo, a dodgy neck and an inquiring public.
 
These days he is taking it easy. He is practicing, when the back allows. He is spending time in Sun Valley, Idaho, his home away from his Florida home. And he is catching big fish.
 
He may play in Las Vegas next week. He may not. He may play in Asia before the end of the year. He may not.
 
This is all part of getting his batteries recharged, said a source close to Duval Tuesday.
 
Its that time of year when players who havent gotten what they wanted out of 2003 already are planning for 2004.
 
Casey Martin has played 16 events on the Nationwide Tour in 2003 and missed eight cuts. The $15,945 he has won ranks him 157th on the money list. As recently as 1998 he was a winner on the Nationwide Tour.
 
Last week he tied for 24th at Rancho Cucamonga. It was his best finish of the year. Maybe his luck is changing. Martins immediate goal is the second stage of Q-School in Seaside, Calif., Nov. 19-22.
 
If he doesnt advance, you cant help but wonder how long Martin, who suffers from a degenerative circulatory disorder in his leg called Klippel-Trenauney-Webber Syndrome, will pursue his golf dreams.
 
I dont think anybody can answer that question with Q-School directly in front of them, said Martins agent, Chris Murray. These guys thrive on hope.
 
Murray says Martin is doing well financially despite his recent poor earnings from golf. Hes bought two big things, Murray said. A car and a townhouse. He gives a lot of his money to his church.
 
Martin is 31 years old, same as David Duval.
 
Australian James McLean is only 25. But he, too, is pointing to the second stage of Q-School and looking ahead to 2004.
 
McLean, the former NCAA individual champion from the University of Minnesota and one of the PGA Tours longest hitters, is currently chilling in the Cities watching the Twins play the Yankees and nursing a wrist that is swathed in a soft cast. Calcium build-up in the wrist has forced McLean off the tour.
 
Doctors have managed to avoid surgery as a last resort for McLean. But they say his condition is unique. They may have to operate eventually.
 
Meanwhile, the best players in the world this year have convened in nearby Atlanta for the WGC-American Express Championship. There is this matter of Player of the Year yet to be determined. It probably wont be settled until the final round of the Tour Championship, Nov. 9 in Houston.
 
At the moment, they have bigger fish to fry.
 
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Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


"I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.

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Daly (knee) replaced by Bradley in Open field

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 12:13 pm

Former champion John Daly has withdrawn from The Open because of a right knee injury and will be replaced in the field at Carnoustie by another major winner, Keegan Bradley.

Daly, 52, defeated Costantino Rocca in a memorable playoff to win the claret jug at St. Andrews in 1995. His lingering knee pain led him to request a cart during last month's U.S. Senior Open, and when that request was denied he subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

Daly then received treatment on the knee and played in a PGA Tour event last week at The Greenbrier without the use of a cart, missing the cut with rounds of 77-67. But on the eve of the season's third major, he posted to Twitter that his pain remains "unbearable" and that a second request for a cart was turned down:

This will be just the second time since 2000 that Daly has missed The Open, having also sat out the 2013 event at Muirfield. He last made the cut in 2012, when he tied for 81st at Royal Lytham. He could still have a few more chances to improve upon that record, given that past Open champions remain fully exempt until age 60.

Taking his place will be Bradley, who was first alternate based on his world ranking. Bradley missed the event last year but recorded three top-20 finishes in five appearances from 2012-16, including a T-18 finish two years ago at Royal Troon.

The next three alternates, in order, are Spain's Adrian Otaegui and Americans Aaron Wise and J.B. Holmes.