Duval Turns Back the Clock
David Duval is a man who has not troubled the bookmakers much over the last few years.
The 43 year-old American was a 1000-1 outsider at the start of The 114TH Open Championship and it would be fair to assume there were few takers even at those odds given he has made only three cuts in the Championship since he won the title at Royal Lytham and St Annes back in 2001.
The former World No. 1 is a part-time golfer these days. He spends more of his time working as an announcer for Golf Channel than he does playing golf but early this morning he turned the clock back with a five-under-par 67 that was every bit as good as anything he produced in his prime.
Late last night Duval had to birdie the last to make the cut right on the mark and it might well prove to be a seminal moment as he contemplates a future without much tournament golf.
“Maybe a few people might take a bit of notice,” he said.
“Last night, I got a lot of thumbs up from players and caddies when I made that putt on 18 and even my walking referee seemed excited.
“It’s nice to come to a place you love and play well,” he added. “I don’t get much chance to play competitive golf any longer but maybe this will open a few doors for me.”
Duval’s best Open finish since winning in 2001 was a tie for 22ND the following year but he still believes he could compete with the best if only he got the chance.
“I make no bones about the fact that I think I could compete if I could set a 20-22 event schedule. But I’m not in that position. I can think of only one tournament (the Reno-Tahoe Open) that I might be able to play this year.
“It’s difficult. It’s not a fair fight trying to compete against the Rory McIlroys, Dustin Johnsons and Jordan Spieths and the other best players in the world when you haven’t played in a tournament for three or four months and they’ve been playing constantly. But it made me feel real good what I did today. It was cool.”
The American feels he will be able to free-wheel tomorrow as he bids to write a new chapter in what is becoming an increasingly intriguing story.
“There’s absolutely no pressure on me tomorrow. There’s not,” he said. “I mean y’all didn’t expect me to be standing here this morning, did you? No. So I’ll go out to play tomorrow and do the best I can. Maybe I’ll shoot 67 again, maybe I’ll shoot 77, who knows?
“But I’ll have a smile on my face and enjoy walking around St Andrews, I can tell you. Links golf is my favourite thing to do. I find it intriguing, frustrating, uplifting, all these things, so to get to do it for two weeks, it’s a blessing as a golfer, regardless of who you are.”